NV Legislature's administrative arm expands harassment rule

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HENDERSON (FOX5) -- CCSD late Monday night thanked Gov. Steve Sisolak for signing multiple bills into law that allow enough funding for teacher raises.

In a statement, CCSD said:

CCSD can provide employees an average 2 percent seniority increase plus a 3 percent cost of living increase with the passage of Senate Bill 551, Assembly Bill 309 and the other supplemental funding to the K-12 budget supported by Governor Sisolak, Speaker Frierson, Majority Leader Cannizzaro and legislators.

A revised version of SB 551 introduced June 2 allocates an additional $53 million over the biennium. This, combined with AB 309, which gives CCSD $13 million in flexible funding, plus the opportunity for additional funds through an optional county sales tax, means CCSD can provide the proposed raises.

The 2 percent increase is the average amount employees will receive by progressing on the salary schedule. Some employees are topped out on the salary schedule, and some get as much as a 5 percent increase, depending on their seniority.

The Nevada State Education Association issued a news release early Tuesday, saying the organization remains opposed to SB 543.

“None of these issues were addressed in the proposed amendment,” NSEA president Ruben Murillo said. “In fact, the strongest provision in the original bill to ensure a maintenance of effort in school funding was completely removed, making the requirement for funding completely dependent on the will of the Governor. Moreover, the new language still allows for the supplanting of new and additional funding like IP1.” 

The NSEA added it  "looks forward to working with the Department of Education on improving this plan while also demanding greater political accountability to ensure educators are never shut out again. This includes engaging the 81st Legislative Session to ensure problems with the formula are fixed before final implementation."

PREVIOUS STORY

HENDERSON (FOX5) -- Legislators in Carson City have been working to pass several bills before legislative session ends June 3.

Nevada lawmakers passed Senate Bill 555 late Friday night, a proposal that outlines K-12 funding for schools across the state for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years.

According to the bill's language, $6,067 would be allocated per student within the Clark County School District. Other students in other counties would receive about $10,000 per pupil.

"555 has made progress adding additional dollars but still falls short, that's what I was saying there needs to be more appropriated dollars for the school district," Clark County Educators Association executive director John Vellardita said.

SB 555 also proposes an average support guarantee of $6,218 per pupil for the 2019-2020 school year, which is an increase of about 4% from the current rate. The bill marks the 2021 figure at $6,288.

Overall, the bill would allocate approximately $327.2 million for a class-size reduction program and $62.9 million for the Read by Grade 3 program. Additional funds were included to allow for raises to teacher pay, but the Clark County Education Association said if more money is not included, their members would strike.

"If that budget decision has either cuts in it or in the classroom and or no raises for teachers than that's what triggers the strike," Vellardita said.

CCSD said it needed between $110 to $120 million to fund the merit pay raises, cost-of-living pay raises and increases in health care. State Democrats announced legislation that would reroute funds from a 10% sales tax on retail marijuana sales toward education funding, away from the state's "rainy day" fund.

"Senate Democrats firmly believe corporate tax breaks aren't worth shortchanging our public schools," Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro said in a statement announcing the plan.

SB 555 must be signed by Gov. Steve Sisolak before becoming law.

Assembly Bill 309 has passed and is on its way to Sisolak's desk.

The bill allows counties to increase sales tax to direct money to go to education.

"309 is our bill. We worked with the speaker and have helped craft it, push it, and its on the senate floor today. Once it passes it goes to the governor's office for his signature," Vellardita said. 

Senate Bill 543 would modernize the current school funding formula. Under the proposed bill, it would go into effect July 1, 2021. 

If it passes it changes the way funds are distributed to schools.

CCSD Superintendent Jara said, "Putting more money into a current formula that's not working was not ideal. Addressing the core issues of a new funding formula was my and our board's number one priority.”

The new formula would add transparency so families could see how money is distributed.

"With the funding model we have right now, people don't know how money flows through the state," Jara said.

Money allocated for K-12's would stay in those schools.

More money would be allocated for special programs like English Language Learners (E.L.L.), GATE, and Special Needs Students.

Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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