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13 May Statement from Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara on introduction of new Nevada education funding formula

The Clark County School District (CCSD) Board of School Trustees and I are pleased to see the much-anticipated introduction of a new education funding formula in Nevada with Senate Bill 543.

Nevada has the oldest funding formula in the nation. Our current funding formula has been in place since 1967, and no longer serves the needs of our growing, diverse student population.

CCSD strongly supports this plan in concept. We look forward to looking at the details to ensure there is sufficient flexibility to address the needs of students in each district. The bill addresses our three biggest concerns with Nevada’s 50-year-old funding formula:

  1. The current funding formula is complicated and confusing. This new formula will be more transparent about how the state funds K-12 education.
  2. The current funding formula sometimes reduces state funding when other state or local revenues increase. The new formula ensures that new money intended for K-12 public education stays with K-12 public education.
  3. The current funding formula does not account for the actual costs of educating children. The new formula provides additional funds for students who need more support, such as English Language Learners and special education students. It also adjusts funding based on the needs of smaller school districts, small schools, and areas where cost of living for school employees is higher, such as in Clark County.

While this is historic legislation, it’s critical to note that this bill will change the actual formula used to distribute education funds in Nevada. It will not provide additional funding to education, and implementation will not start until the 2021-22 school year.

This bill does not address the current need for more funding to provide raises to our hard-working employees. We know that our state needs to make significant investments in education over the coming years. According to a recent report, CCSD is one of the lowest-funded districts in all of the 74 urban school districts in the Council of Great City Schools.

However, this proposal lays the groundwork for us to work together as a state to transform education and distribute any new funding for education in a more equitable, more transparent manner.

Today is a momentous day for Nevada students and staff. This new formula will be a critical step to change the way we fund — and value — K-12 public education throughout Nevada. We want to thank Sens. Mo Denis and Joyce Woodhouse, along with Jeremy Aguero, for their tireless work to develop this new plan.