Private Sector Gives $1,000,000 Boost to Local Schools

Washoe County schools have seen one set of numbers.--$125 million dollars in budget cuts--head in the wrong direction in recent years.

But another set of numbers has been going in a very positive direction.

Graduation rates are up from 56 percent in 2008 to 70 last year.

Now some good news on that first set of numbers. The Washoe K-12 Foundation, a coalition of local business leaders formed a year ago, told a morning press conference at Clayton Middle School.
they had raised more than a million dollars to support programs in local schools:

An additional $400 thousand was donated directly to the district's High School Signature Academies.

The school district administration has put extra effort in the past few years into raising classroom achievement and building bridges to the community.

Tuesday's announcement is an indication it's paying off.

"We really saw some forward thinking and some positive things happening." says Foundation Vice Chair and Nugget executive Michonne Ascuaga. "Frankly, it was pretty easy to get behind the idea."

There's not enough taxable assessed valuations to support any more bonds," says local developer and foundation chairman Perry DiLoreto. "That's why the private sector has to step up and be very targeted about these programs.

The added money won't replace government funding, but School Superintendent Pedro Martinez says it will help leverage additional funding.

"It's a great message to the lawmakers," he says "The community's doing their part and it's just starting. Now we've got to see our legislators frankly step up too."

To learn more about the foundation and the programs it supports, visit their website www.washoek-12.com or call 775 348-0256.


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