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Nevada K-12 Education Funding Remains Below Pre-Recession Levels

PHOTO: Nevada is among several states where funding for public schools is less than it was before the Great Recession, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Education.
PHOTO: Nevada is among several states where funding for public schools is less than it was before the Great Recession, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Education.
October 21, 2014

CARSON CITY, Nev. - The results of a new study from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows education funding for K-through-12 schools in Nevada remains below pre-recession levels.

Ruben Murillo, president at the Nevada State Education Association, says the research shows Nevada's per-pupil spending is four percent less than it was in 2008.

"What it tells me is our public schools are hurting," he says. "They can't really provide the education to our students without the resources and the personnel."

According to the study, at least 30 states are providing less funding per student for the current school year than before the recession, and 14 of those states have cut per-student funding by more than 10 percent. Oklahoma, Alabama, and Arizona lead the nation with the deepest cuts.

As the November 4th general election quickly approaches, Murillo says the governor and state Legislature should make the education of Nevada's future workforce a top fiscal priority.

"Smaller class sizes, expanding learning time, hiring and retaining the best and the brightest teachers and support staff," says Murillo. "Something has to give in the Legislature to not turn a blind eye to these facts that are so blatant and in your face."

Murillo says voter approval of a proposed two percent tax on businesses, also known as the Margins Tax or Question 3, would generate an estimated $800 million per year to fund public education. He says that much money would help restore funding for K-12 schools to above pre-recession levels.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV