Nevada Senate Republicans say they have $250 million for schools without business tax | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada Senate Republicans say they have $250 million for schools without business tax

Senate Republicans on Friday released a plan to increase school funding by a quarter billion dollars.

And Minority Leader James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville, says they can do it without the $100 million plus from canceling the sunset scheduled to lower the Modified Business Tax.

Settelmeyer said they have identified $242 million in unappropriated funding freed up by decisions the money committees have made during this session. The majority of that is in a re-projection made in the Distributive School Account.

Sen. Ben Kicekhefer, R-Reno, said that freed up about $120 million.

Another $40 million comes from a re-projection of Medicaid budgets and $35 million from a cut to the proposed Nevada System of Higher Education budgets. In addition, he said there’s $15 million available from the reduction in the Opportunity Scholarships program.

There are numerous other smaller amounts from a long list of re-projections and reductions to budgets recommended by the governor.

Senate Republicans issued a press release Friday afternoon saying $107 million of that money should go to the DSA to provide 3 percent raises to teachers. They also want to restore the $30 million cut from the school safety budget. They also want to restore some funding to the Opportunity Scholarships program.

Finally, they proposed adding another $100 million to K-12 funding to help reduce class sizes and relieve teachers, primarily in urban school districts, from classes that are often approaching 50 students.

That issue is caused primarily by the fact there are so many vacancies in teaching positions — some 900 in Clark and 100 in Washoe County. There was testimony in committee teachers are leaving the profession not so much because of the pay but because of the workload caused by growing class sizes.