LAS VEGAS — District officials presented the tentative 2014-15 fiscal year budget to the Clark County Board of School Trustees today. An item will be on the April 10 agenda for trustees to approve the tentative budget.
The 2014-15 budget is estimated at $2.23 billion, up about $15 million from the 2013-14 fiscal year budget. The growth in the budget is because of slight increases in tax revenues and a projected gain of more than 3,300 students next year, which will increase state allocations to the district.
"It will take years to rebuild after the painful budget cuts of recent years, but the district is glad to have the opportunity to have additional funds to support our schools," said Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky. "We must keep up with our growing student population and focus additional resources in the classroom. I'm especially proud of our plan to expand parent outreach so we can work collaboratively with families to support the academic needs of every student in every classroom.
"This is a transition year for our budget," Skorkowsky said. "The upcoming fiscal year will be focused on developing a budget that is fully aligned to the board's budget priorities and the district's strategic vision."
The tentative budget includes the fiscal year starting July 1 and runs through June 30, 2015.
Highlights of the tentative budget:
Professional Development: An additional $8 million in funding will train teachers on best practices to implement the Nevada Academic Content Standards. Licensed personnel and support staff will receive training and resources to increase content knowledge and improve instructional practices.
Technology: An additional $2 million is planned for technical resource areas. This includes the purchase of a Data Visualization Toolset that will help educators close achievement gaps by more effectively utilizing data on individual student achievement and tracking each student's progress toward graduation.
Parent Engagement: By consolidating parent resources from around the district and adding about $560,000 in new resources, the new Family and Community Engagement Services office will:
• Develop a strategic plan that increases communication and collaboration between parents, families and schools.
• Promote a welcome atmosphere for families in schools.
• Evaluate current parent communication structure and develop new strategies.
• Implement research-supported models and strategies for engaging families in student academics, school activities and district initiatives.
• Develop, promote and conduct a certificated Parent University program.
HOPE2: The $2.4 million toward the Heightening Opportunities and Providing Enhanced Education (HOPE2) program will ensure implementation of recommendations from the Superintendent's Educational Opportunity Advisory Committee, which looked into the disproportional number of minority students who are suspended and expelled. This initiative will include cultural responsiveness training for all teachers and administrators and early literacy intervention.
Increased administrative support in schools: An additional $3.1 million will increase the number of middle school deans and elementary school assistant principals to provide additional support to schools. These administrators will be tasked with monitoring student discipline to prevent overrepresentation of minorities in the district's discipline system. They also will help close the achievement gap by focusing on best instructional practices in the classroom.
— From news release