It’s time for some teamwork on budget cuts | NevadaAppeal.com

It’s time for some teamwork on budget cuts

If there were not so much at stake, the battles being waged in Nevada over budget cuts might be considered entertaining.

The Board of Regents, for example, fires salvos at the governor, saying, in effect, that if they cut any more the quality of education will be irreparably damaged. That’s their explanation for delivering a budget increase proposal rather than the cuts the governor asked for.

Gov. Gibbons fires back with his own suggestions … how about pay cuts for highly paid higher education officials?

Nobody in this drama can be accurately painted as the bad guy. The Regents are correct to fight for programs their experience tells them are vital to the state’s higher education system, which should (at least in better times) be managed with a goal of being among the best in the nation.

The governor, likewise, makes sense when he says lean times call for drastic measures.

Unfortunately for the Regents, it won’t be easy to generate much sympathy. How much concern can an average family struggling to make ends meet have that professors will have to teach more classes? Will people at the unemployment office care that a computerized student records system will have to be put on hold?

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Make no mistake about it … people all over Nevada are suffering from the effects of the state’s ailing economy and cutbacks in social services that help and protect children and families.

The best thing the Regents can do is to actively be a part of developing a budget reduction plan that preserves what is most important, keeps its infrastructure in good order and prevents irreparable harm to a system that is vital to the state’s future.

This editorial represents the view of the Nevada Appeal Editorial Board.

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