Revenue Estimate Leaves Children's Education in the Balance
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Now that the Economic Forum has come up with its revenue estimate, state lawmakers are trying to find $113 million in budget cuts. By law, the Legislature must fund the education budget first. Still, Terry Hickman with the Nevada State Education Association says it will be difficult to protect hard won gains like smaller class sizes when lawmakers need to cut more than $100 million from the general budget.
“Certainly, some of the programs that we feel are absolutely essential to increasing student achievement may not be properly funded. So, we are very concerned.”
The full size of the funding gap won't be known for sure until the Department of Taxation comes up with a final revenue figure, which is expected in the next few days.
Hickman believes the achievement of Nevada school children is in the balance, since lawmakers must follow the Economic Forum's budget estimate.
“Everything from class size to salaries to school supplies is all coming from the Legislature. So, it is extremely important that we not have a reduction in those funding sources and we are really concerned that, that is a real possibility."
Hickman hopes some of the progress lawmakers made during the past session in funding local programs to enhance student achievement won't be lost in this budget shuffle.
“The major components are public education, higher education, prisons, public safety, and transportation. They're major components of the budget, and it has to come from somewhere. So, we're very concerned.”
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