School District Outlines Cuts

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Traditional Washoe County schools will start on time next month, but there will be less money for textbooks and an average of one more student per classroom, officials said.

Though state lawmakers earlier this week passed a state budget for schools, local officials on Thursday said $6 million still had to be cut from the $310 million spending plan for this fiscal year.

Increasing class sizes in grades four through 12 will save about $2.7 million dollars by eliminating 58 teaching positions, school officials said.

But music, athletics, vocational education, ROTC and extracurricular activities - programs targeted for elimination if more drastic budget cuts were necessary - will remain intact.

Other cuts include $1 million from the textbook budget, reducing the supply budget for all departments, reducing out-of-district staff travel by 50 percent, eliminating teacher sabbaticals and reducing nursing services by 10 percent.

The cuts are meant to balance a $25 million increase in operational costs. District officials originally estimated that $6 million to $23 million would have to be cut depending on what lawmakers would approve for education.

Superintendent Jim Hager said that because a state budget was passed Monday the district can fill about 300 teaching vacancies.