Nev. Education Advocates Protest

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With Nevada facing a 440-million dollar budget shortfall, public education won't be spared from statewide cuts. Governor Jim Gibbons has proposed slashing school funding by four and a half percent.

Parents rallied at Swope Middle School in Reno, in Carson City and at two schools in Las Vegas Wednesday.

"You look at the condition of the school, you walk around and see trip fall hazards, you see that we're way behind in technology in the classroom," Parent Craig Etem said.

Nevadans for Quality Education held rallies across the state. The advocacy group says the impact of Governor Gibbon's proposed nearly 100-million dollar cut for education isn't known -- But some fear kids could lose their teachers.

"You start taking away benefits, retirement credits... people don't want to work in a state that does not give them what they deserve," Casilda Pagan of NQE said.

"We like all the teachers that we have and we don't want them to be sent to other schools because they don't get paid good here," Seventh Grade Student Matt Cooper said.

The governor's plan spreads cuts among a multitude of agencies, and according to the Nevada Appeal, Gibbons has said there will be no layoffs under his proposal.

By including education in the cuts, agencies would face smaller cuts than if schools were exempt.

But Nevadans for Quality Education says schools can't shoulder a cut of any size.

"We need the money for stuff like new text books... More supplies," Fourth Grade Student Gigi Etem said.

"We should look if we can cut in other areas, this is to my mind, the most important expenditure the state makes," Craig Etem said.

Parents and NQE want Governor Gibbons to tap into the state's rainy day fund. However, Gibbons was seen on a Las Vegas television station saying that idea is "silly" because we don't know what emergencies will happen next year.

Gibbons is reportedly scheduled to meet with school officials Thursday.