School Budget Crisis

By: Koula Gianulias
By: Koula Gianulias

Some teachers could lose their jobs because the Washoe County School District is facing a $6 million shortfall, because it overestimated the number of students that would enroll this year.
Superintendent Paul Dugan says they expected close to 1,400 new students, but ended up with 117. The numbers were a surprise, because Washoe County schools have grown every year for the past decade. Over the past few years, the district has grown at an average of 3% each year. Dugan also says they based projections on wide-spread growth that has occurred throughout Northern Nevada.
Dugan says the district will explore a number of options to avoid job cuts, including incentive plans for retirement, freezing positions and not filling them this year, and reduction in budgets. He says at a minimum, teachers will be shuffled around, to balance schools that are overcrowded with schools that didn't get as many students as they expected. However, at this point, there are no plans to cut or change any student programs.
As for why enrollment suddenly dropped off, Dugan says it could be a sign of a trend....that perhaps families with kids aren't the ones moving to Nevada, because of housing prices.


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