The Senate Finance Committee voted Thursday to add a grant writer to the Department of Education staff.
The issue was raised by Sens. Bob Beers and Barbara Cegavske, both R-Las Vegas, who charged there is no organized effort to get all the federal grant money available for education. Cegavske also charged that too much of the education grant money Nevada does get, ends up going back to the federal government.
"Even when we get the money, we end up reverting it back because we don't utilize it," she said.
Deputy Superintendents of Education Gloria Dopf and Doug Thunder said that amount is infinitesimal.
Thunder said only $350,000 of the $64.8 million in federal education grants the state received in 1999-2000 was reverted and only $250,000 of that was under Department of Education control. He said that is half of one percent.
Dopf said most of what went back to the federal government was simply reverted by local school officials too late to be reallocated.
Those charges have been raised before by members of Congress in an attempt to deflect state claims No Child Left Behind doesn't pay for the programs it mandates.
Both Cegavske and Beers said much of the problem could be cured if the department had a grant writer. Chairman Bill Raggio, R-Reno, challenged them, asking how they would suggest paying for that since federal grant money can't really be used to pay for efforts to get federal grants.
Cegavske moved to add the $142,000 necessary to create a grant writer's position in the Department of Education, seconded by Beers.