LAS VEGAS (CBS) – Clark County School District Superintendent Dwight Jones has sent a letter to valley teachers with some unsettling news. Some 2,500 to 3,500 jobs could be in jeopardy to balance the district’s budget.
This is due to the $400 million in budget cuts including layoffs for thousands of teachers and staff that the school district is facing.
As you know from previous communications, Nevada law prescribes the process we must follow in developing the
District’s budget. On Wednesday, May 18, the Board adopted the District’s 2011-2012 Final Budget in order to
meet another statutory deadline and to begin District operations for fiscal year 2012.
The 2011-2012 Final Budget is by no means “final.” Because the Nevada Legislature and the Governor have not
yet come to an agreement on the State’s budget for the upcoming biennium, we still do not know what our
authorized funding will be. Additionally, the District’s budget assumes that concessions in the approximate amount
of $166.5 million will be negotiated with all employee bargaining groups, although those have not yet been agreed
to. You will recall that the Governor’s budget presumes these concessions, which is why they are included in the
District’s budget at this time.
We currently anticipate a shortfall of approximately $338 million, rather than the previously projected $400
million, assuming that additional funds recently identified by the Economic Forum actually materialize. As a result
of the projected shortfall, a reduction in force and surplus/reassignment process has begun. Currently, over 1,800
positions have been cut for the upcoming fiscal year. Unfortunately, without substantial additional revenue for the
District from the State, and without the concessions from the employee bargaining groups envisioned in the
Governor’s budget, it is possible that another 2,500 to 3,500 positions will need to be cut in order for the budget to
be balanced, effective July 1, 2011.
At this point, we do not know if the State will have an approved budget when the 76th Regular Session of the
Nevada Legislature adjourns on June 6, or if the State’s budget will need to be adopted in a Special Session.
However, after funding from the State, employee contract negotiations, and other funding elements are determined,
the 2011-2012 Final Budget will be revised following the final adjournment of the Legislature.
Finally, there has been discussion of possible early-retirement incentives. Please know that we are not currently
considering such incentives.
I want to reiterate that neither the Board nor I approve of the cuts proposed for K-12 education in the State. As I
wrote to you in April, we have no desire to impose reductions in staffing or compensation; however, we must
comply with the law and balance our budget based on allocated revenues. While we recognize and deeply regret
the hardships that are resulting from these drastic budget reductions, the Board and I greatly appreciate your
continued professionalism and dedication to the District’s core mission of instructing our students.
I will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available. Thank you.