Governor Meets With Educators Over Budget Cuts

The nearly $100 million that Gov. Jim Gibbons wants to cut from public school funding could lead to staff layoffs and lower-quality instructions for some Nevada students, according to school administrators who met with the governor.

Gibbons said he had to include school funding in a 4.5 percent budget cut plan for most state agencies, K-12 schools and higher education given the prospect of a $440 million revenue shortfall.

Clark County schools chief Walt Rulffes (RULF'-ez) says education will be hurt by the cuts, and the timing is "horrible" since half the current fiscal year is over.

Washoe County schools chief Paul Dugan echoes the timing concern, saying school districts are in the middle of the year and money already has been spent on maintenance and programs.

Other superintendents said the across-the-board, 4.5 percent cutbacks might protect state agencies from personnel layoffs - but could force layoffs in some K-12 schools since most of their budgets go for staff salaries.