Education spending: Will Legislature's latest push actually trickle down to teachers? – Reno Gazette Journal


For April’s Pints & Politics, Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson and Assembly Minority Leader Jim Wheeler joined the discussion. Reno Gazette Journal

There’s lots of ways for money to get lost on its way to a teacher’s wallet

There is a lot of ways money can get lost on its way to a teacher’s wallet. 

If delivered from the Nevada Legislature with no strings attached, it may be used to pad a consulting contract or boost an administrator’s benefits package. 

Sometimes, extra education funds don’t even make it out of Carson City, where legislators regularly use new funding streams to reduce the state’s own required contribution to school budgets. 

Keeping dollars on track for a classroom has re-emerged as a major concern in the week since the Democrat-dominated Legislature revealed three controversial new ways to deliver teacher raises and better-performing public schools.

Republicans remain skeptical. They say the bills will not stop unions, school districts — even their fellow lawmakers — from siphoning school funds.

When Gov. Steve Sisolak and his allies on Tuesday unveiled a plan to grow the “pie” of education funding through marijuana taxes, GOP critics cast it as a same-sized pie with much more elaborate slices.

A day earlier, Democrats debuted a long-awaited overhaul of the system used to deliver those dollars. Detractors slammed it as a pipeline to funnel cash from rural areas to urban school districts.

Then, when Democrats proposed a bill to let counties collect new taxes to supplement those lost funds, it was dismissed as a way for Sisolak to work around his pledge not to balance his budget with tax hikes.  

Related: Nevada school funding reform: Lawmakers introduce biggest bill of 2019

Republicans aren’t the only ones

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