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Message to NV Lawmakers: Teacher Pay Cuts Top 20% for Many



February 24, 2011

CARSON CITY, Nevada - Gov. Brian Sandoval stressed the need for shared sacrifice in proposing state budget cuts, but education advocates say teachers are getting hit extra hard when it comes to sacrificing pay.

Lynn Warne, president of the Nevada State Education Association (NSEA), plans to tell state lawmakers today that when all Sandoval's proposed changes that impact teacher compensation are totaled, the hit to their paycheck in many cases adds up to much more than 5 percent.

"The cuts being recommended by the governor are a lot deeper than are being portrayed. Quite frankly, we feel that, for example, the 5 percent compensation cuts he's talking about go up to 20 percent or higher."

Sandoval is holding fast to his stand that the state needs to live within its means and that the budget deficit can be reeled in without raising taxes.

Warne expects lawmakers will have a more open mind concerning the revenue side of the equation when she testifies today. She says Sandoval informed superintendents that he is aiming for 70 percent of the cuts to be shouldered by district employees. Warne says that approach hurts veteran teachers the most at a time when they are greatly needed in Nevada.

"The longer an educator is in the classroom, that experience translates into more effective instruction; and so the governor would remove the incentive for remaining in the classroom just to get those additional years of experience."

Warne is to testify before the Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance joint K-12 Subcommittee.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV