Education Advocates Show Needed Maintenance Projects

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RENO, NV -- Advocates for increased education funding highlighted maintenance issues at Roy Gomm Elementary School in Reno Monday. Principal KayAnn Pilling said the school's boiler is functional, but failed Monday morning. She said the temperature plunged to fifty degrees in a wing of the school.

Parent Leaders for Education said $511 million is needed for capital improvements in the Washoe County School District. Twenty-seven schools in the district are more than 50 years old.

"There's no money for the next eight to ten years," Andrea Hughs-Baird of the Parent Leaders for Education said.

Pilling said some of the issues with the facilities are related to security. She said some classrooms have window blinds that are not functional. She also said while Roy Gomm has classroom doors that can be locked from the inside, not all the district's schools have the feature.

Hughs-Baird said some sort of tax increase might be needed to fund schools, but lawmakers and district officials are "still working on it."

Assemblymember Pat Hickey (R-Reno) said: "I'm certainly looking at it favorably because I understand the problems here." He said he would consider sales and property tax revenues for schools.

However, tax hikes were a hotly debated issue during the last legislative session as the state continued to experience a slow economic recovery.

Republican Governor Brian Sandoval will likely address Nevada's fiscal situation when he delivers the State of the State speech on Wednesday.