Gibbons’ fund for teachers draws little interest
(AP) – A fund created by Gov. Jim Gibbons to supplement teachers’ pay with voluntary donations is drawing little public interest.
The Education Gift Certificate program, unveiled during Gibbons’ Feb. 8 State of the State address, has received only four contributions totaling $261 so far.
“It hasn’t been a big seller so far,” said state schools Superintendent Keith Rheault.
Plans had called for the money to be distributed to teachers by year’s end. But Rheault said the money will be held in a trust fund until the fund grows enough.
At this rate, that could take awhile. Divided among the state’s 30,000 teachers, the $261 would give each educator less than 1 cent.
Gibbons announced the program as he called the Legislature into special session to address an $800 million budget deficit. He and lawmakers ended up cutting state funding for both K-12 and higher education by 6.9 percent.
James Wells, deputy state superintendent, said Donald and Sera Barry donated $200 and three others gave the rest.
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