Bracing For Cuts, Reno Area School District Freezes Spending

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Bracing For Cuts, Reno Area School District Freezes Spending

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For complete coverage of the budget process and all things Nevada legislature- visit sessionaccess.com

On the heels of Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval's budget proposal, Nevada's public schools are bracing for cuts.

The Washoe County School District declared a spending freeze Wednesday.

The school district won't know exactly how much of a cut it needs to deal with until the final budget process is done, but in the meantime they're trying to keep from digging a deeper hole.

It's the second year in a row the district declared a spending freeze, which means no spending and no hiring for vacant positions unless it's declared essential by a committee of supervisors. In the past that's meant teachers are hired but just about no other jobs are filled.

The news coincides with a hearing lawmakers held in which the State superintendent broke down the Governor's proposed education cuts.

Governor Sandoval wants to decrease per-pupil spending by 5 percent.

He also wants to cut 7 percent from the amount schools get for special programs like all-day kindergarten and gifted and talented classes. But he says he'd give districts more flexibility to prioritize how they use that money.

That's on top of 5 percent pay cuts for district employees, who'd have to agree to take the cuts in contract negotiations.

Depending on how that goes, the cuts could force districts to plan for bigger class sizes due to teacher layoffs.