School funding shortfall more than $62 million

The Senate Finance Committee on Monday approved a supplemental appropriation of $62,194,642 to make up the shortfall in the K-12 education budget for this biennium.

The supplemental is because of higher than expected enrollment that left the state’s per pupil funding through the Distributive School Account short. Most of the shortfall is due to growth in the Clark County School District.

That total is far higher than the $22.2 million DSA shortfall projected in the governor’s budget. Filling in the difference will take $39.9 million of the $44.2 million in new money the May 1 Economic Forum added to projections for the remainder of this fiscal year.

But that is $616,520 less than what lawmakers expected to have to send to the school districts as recently as last week.

The bulk of the reduction comes from higher than expected revenues from the medical marijuana tax that increased by $575,000. Lawmakers last session were deliberately very conservative in projecting what the marijuana tax would raise.

In addition, the Assembly on Monday approved legislation to make up a shortfall in the state’s Medicaid budget.

AB494 contains more than $130 million in supplemental funding but the vast majority — $124.1 million — is an increase in federal money. The state money in that measure totals just $5.8 million.

Again, the funding is to make up a shortfall in the current budget, not for the 2018-2019 biennium because the money has, in effect, already been spent.


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