Gibbons: Schools must cut budgets too |

Gibbons: Schools must cut budgets too

Gov. Jim Gibbons today announced that public schools will have to cut their budgets too.

His earlier plan to reduce state spending had protected education and other sensitive areas including public safety and corrections. But as the sales tax and other revenue shortfalls grew, he had to raise the proposed cuts from 5 percent to 8 percent.

And a review of agency recommendations made it clear that deep a cut would seriously damage some programs.

By spreading the cuts across all state agencies, Director of Administration Andrew Clinger said the percentage needed to cover the shortfall drops to just 4.5 percent.

That means the only two state funded operations exempt from the cuts are the Washoe and Clark County child welfare budgets. Contracts paying Washoe $48.5 million and Clark $124 million were approved by the Board of Examiners earlier this week.

One big reason those two agencies were not cut is that child welfare, foster care and the other services they provide are a state mandate, not a local government mandate and, if they wanted to, Clark and Washoe could simply turn the entire responsibility back to the state.