School district seeks input as budget survey goes live

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Washoe County School District (WCSD) is encouraging members of the community to participate in an online budget survey. The results of the survey, according to a school district release, will be compiled by district staff and presented to the Board of Trustees for consideration during 2019 budget discussions.

“We want the public to know about our funding, budget challenges, and the decisions we are preparing to make as we put the budget together for the 2019-2020 school year,” says WCSD Board of Trustees President Katy Simon Holland. “This is an important process because these decisions affect our students and impact the important goals our community has for their education. We are interested in hearing opinions from students, families, and members of the community at large to help inform the decisions we make in the near future.”

The district says a similar survey circulated earlier this year garnered thousands of responses from the community, and trustees used that feedback to help build the current budget. As a result of public feedback from the surveys, the district says, the board retained music and art programs, reduced central administration, and cut some transportation services.

“This can be a complicated process, but it’s also an opportunity for our community to learn about our budget challenges and help shape ideas for potential cost reductions going forward,” says Mark Mathers, chief financial officer for WCSD. “We look forward to hearing community input through this survey, which offers everyone the chance to express their views and learn about the District’s budget. This is especially important this year prior to when the new governor and legislature set funding for schools.”

The budget survey is open until January 7, 2019, and while it asks for general demographic information, respondents are not required to provide it, according to the district. The survey is anonymous. A series of community forums will also be held in January and February to review survey results and discuss the district’s budgeting process in greater depth.

To take the survey in English, click here. To take the survey in Spanish, click here

The community forums where trustees and staff members will discuss the budget are scheduled for:

January 24, 2019
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Mamie Towles Elementary School
2800 Kings Row
Public is invited.

January 31, 2019
4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Washoe Education Association
1890 Donald Street
Open to all District employees

February 4, 2019
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Smithridge Elementary School
4801 Neil Road
Public is invited

February 11, 2019
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
WCSD Board Meeting Room
425 E. Ninth St.
Public is invited, and this meeting will also be streamed online. All are welcome to attend in person or may join online. Email to receive information about joining virtually.