Education Highlights in Nevada Budget

Highlights of Nevada's education budget:

OVERALL FUNDING - Just over half of all general fund dollars are for K-12 and higher education. The K-12 budget will receive $2.3 billion from the state general fund, and the higher education system will receive $1.3 billion.

FULL-DAY KINDERGARTEN - About $66.4 million will go to full-day kindergarten, including $15 million to add 63 new schools to the
program, currently offered in 114 schools.

EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMS - Empowerment programs will receive $9 million. Gov. Jim Gibbons had pushed for such programs.

PER-PUPIL SPENDING - The budget allots an average $5,122 in
per-pupil support in 2008, and $5,323 per student in 2009, up from
$4,696 this year. In the second year of the coming budget cycle, the per-pupil spending in K-12 public schools will be 13 percent higher than the current level.

TEACHER PAY - The bill includes a 2 percent raise for teachers
in 2008 and a 4 percent raise in 2009.

RETIREMENT CREDIT: The budget includes $54 million to continue a retirement credit program to encourage teachers to stay in their jobs.

CLASS-SIZE REDUCTION: The budget allots $294 million for
salaries and benefits for at least 2,201 teachers to help keep class sizes small.

DECLINING ENROLLMENT - About $5 million will go to Nevada's
colleges and universities to account for declining enrollment.

CONSTRUCTION - The state funding for capital improvement and
building maintenance projects includes $224.3 million for the state's university and college system.

STUDIES - The budget includes $1 million for a university system
study of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The governor's bid for a
groundwater study by the university system wasn't approved.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)