LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In just over a week, CCSD Superintendent Jesus Jara will present the district's final budget for the 2019-2020 school year to trustees - only he hopes the finality is in title only.
"I felt really good leaving that meeting with the Governor and the leadership in Carson City that they are committed to finding the funding," Jara said of Wednesday's meeting.
The issues are CCSD's final budget is due before lawmakers are expected to finalize the state budget that determines how much money is sent to schools.
Jara says he can's budget for money that may not materialize.
"I'd rather add money [later] than speculate and add money now. Once our budget is finalized, we will come back and open our books and come back with an amended budget."
After meeting with Governor Steve Sisolak and other legislative leaders, Jara is hoping he has to do just that in June to give teachers the raises they are demanding.
Until lawmakers pass a final budget, CCSD is stuck in planning mode for several scenarios.
"I need to make sure our children come to school, and there are education 180 days," Jara said.
With CCSD teachers currently voting on a possible strike if lawmakers don't approve their raises, Jara has to plan for a regular start in August as well as the possibility that teachers will refuse to enter the classroom.
"We are preparing, and I understand where their position is, and I have to make sure that we continue the integrity of this organization," Jara said.
As the district is formulating those plans, Jara was among 17 superintendents in Carson City this week discussing the progress of the key funding bills that would help reduce class sizes and increase employee pay.
This as one of the most anticipated education bills has yet to be introduced.
"I felt really good leaving that meeting with the Governor and the leadership in Carson City that they are committed to finding the funding," Jara said.
The superintendent says he believes the new education funding formula will be released in the coming days but with the legislative session dwindling the question is do lawmakers have enough time.
"Within the next 25 days we have a lot of work to do," Jara said.
The superintendent said the governor discussed the possibility of bringing all of the superintendents and state lawmakers together weekly to keep things on track in the final weeks of the legislative session that is set to end June 3.