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Wrap Up of the 76th Regular Session of the Nevada Legislature

The 76th session of the Nevada Legislature adjourned minutes before the 1:00 a.m. deadline June 7 and what a wild 120-day ride it was. It started with a governor setting out to destroy public education after announcing a budget filled with Draconian cuts to education funding and key programs, not to mention a salary cut to all educators that would have amounted to 20 percent. Notwithstanding, the NSEA Lobby Team, backed by the support and commitment of active members, set out to fight the fight.

“It was encouraging to hear from lawmakers that they were overloaded with emails from our members,” said NSEA President Lynn Warne. “During times when the fight was more heated than others it was good to know our members were standing strong behind us as we fought with lawmakers and other lobbyists and interest groups on their behalf.”

Legislators voted on AB 579—the schools budget bill worth $2.2 billion for the next two years. Additionally, lawmakers voted on extending some of the sunsets in order to fund the budget including the Room Tax money that we fought to secure through an initiative petition, IP1, two years ago.  Under AB 579, lawmakers intend for educators to get a 2.5 percent salary cut, however, this number and all the other effects of the new budget are all subject to contract negotiations at the local level.

“We are confident in the bargaining abilities of the locals and their UniServ Directors and we know that while negotiations will seem more contentious this go ‘round, we will have the best of the best sitting across the table from school districts fighting to minimize the effects of the funding mandates handed down by lawmakers,” said Warne.

As far as per-pupil basic support, the current statewide figure is $5,192 which will increase to $5,263 this fall and $5,374 in 2012.  For an update on the bills that were passed, supported, and opposed click here.

“What saddens me most is that we're forced to celebrate remaining at the bottom of the national list on per-pupil spending rather than rejoicing for finally being somewhere near the national average,” added Warne. “The fight is far from over and we will continue to pursue ALL options until we can get to a per-pupil funding level that gives our students the quality education they need and deserve.”



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