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CCSD says state needs to increase funding to pay teachers

Posted at 11:30 PM, Apr 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-27 12:24:02-04

Clark County School District leaders say they can't afford to give teachers and other staff members raises unless the state increases funding for schools.

"I don't know if I can afford to keep doing what I love," Alexis Salt said.

Salt is a teacher at Escobedo Middle School but says without a raise she isn't sure if she can stay on the job.

This as her husband also works for Clark County School District which says it can't afford to give staff members raises.

"Every two weeks when we do our bills one of us is like, Should we apply, Salt said. "It is getting harder and harder to make ends meet."

All seven members of the school board coming together to demand increased funding.

A CCSD spokesperson saying a two percent raise for all employees would cost $40 million.

"We are asking the money being collected in the name of education actually go to education," School Board President Deanna Wright said. 

The board specifically naming marijuana taxes and room taxes.

They said instead of using that revenue to increase school budgets, that money is used to replace other school funding with that old money being sent elsewhere.

Governor Brian Sandoval's office responding to the claims: 

The Clark County School District fully participated in the 2017 Legislative session. The Governor's Office, and others, worked closely with them throughout the entire 120 days, including discussing the direction of marijuana revenue streams. The budget they are currently operating from is the direct result of negotiation, compromise and agreement.
Over the last eight years, Governor Sandoval and the Legislature have increased funding for K-12 education by more than $1 billion.
Regarding marijuana retail tax revenue, as he's previously stated, in his 2017 recommended budget, the Governor originally proposed that the marijuana retail tax (budgeted at $63.5 million over the biennium) go to K-12 education through the DSA. The Legislature made the policy decision to move the 10% tax to the rainy day fund and supply the DSA with general fund dollars. The Governor insured that the DSA still received the $63.5 million of revenue. The Governor believes a special session is unnecessary as the marijuana tax revenue and teacher pay are policy discussions for the next session of the Legislature.

While trustees say they appreciate that funding, they say they can't use it to pay teachers

"They are largely earmarked and must go toward specific programs," Wright said. 

As Carolyn Edwards said she would welcome a special session the board said the main focus needs to be on uniting teachers, staff and their unions ahead of the 2019 legislative session.