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Study says Nevada needs a huge increase in education spending

Aug. 11, 2018
To meet per-pupil expenditures recommended in the study, Nevada would have to boost spending by at least $1.7 billion a year.

To adequately support K-12 public schools, the state of Nevada should be spending $9,238 per student—that’s the recommendation of a study commissioned by the legislature.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that if the state, which now allocates a base figure of $5,387 per student to schools, increased funding to the recommended level, it would require more than $1.7 billion.

That figure doesn't take into account another part of the study;s recommendation that Nevada adopt a weighted funding system in which students with specific needs are financially supported at a higher level than the base amount.

It’s unlikely the state can move immediately to the recommended rate, says Amanda Brown, a consultant with Augenblick, Palaich and Associates, who presented the study. But the recommendation can be used as a target over time.

On top of the base funding, the study recommends at-risk students should be supported with an additional $2,771, which is 30 percent higher than the recommended base funding. Students who are English language learners should be an additional 50 percent, or $4,619 above base. And special education students should should get an additional $10,612, nearly 115 percent above base, according to the study.

State Superintendent Steve Canavero says he supports efforts to craft a new funding formula, but believes there needs to be time to transition.

“The base funding that we have as a state should be linked to very specific expectations we have for our classrooms,” he says.

The legislature's interim education committee took no action on the study, but state Sen. Mo Denis says the report gives the committee ideas to move forward.

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