Audit of school finances gains momentum with Nevada Democrats
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Push for a legislative audit of the Clark County School District (CCSD) is growing as Democratic support emerges ahead of the 2023 legislative session.
A bill calling for a legislative audit aims to “ensure the efficiency and transparency of school district funding,” according to a press release Monday from the Nevada Assembly Democratic Caucus. Changes to school funding in the 2019 legislative session revamped a 50-year-old funding formula.
Millions in COVID-19 relief funds have been funneled into education in Nevada, and the funds have provided some of the money needed to raise starting salaries for Clark County teachers. The establishment of this funding has raised questions.
“Financial transparency and accountability are key to ensuring trust in the CCSD,” said MP Maggie Carlton, Chair of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. Carlton, a Democrat from Las Vegas, represents Assembly District 14.
“I asked for this bill because my constituents regularly ask me about this issue,” Carlton said. “This Legislative Audit Request will allow the Legislative Assembly to more proactively engage with the CCSD to fully address these issues to the satisfaction of parents, students, teachers and staff affected by these decisions. We look forward to working with CCDS management on the audit.
The CCSD responded with a statement Monday afternoon.
As lawmakers seek to review CCSD’s finances, we welcome the opportunity to transparently demonstrate our student-focused spending. Funding per student for CCSD schools has increased by 25% over the past four years. Whether it’s legislators requesting an audit or the public wanting to review our accounting, our financial reports have been and remain available on Open Book (https://openbook.ccsd.net/index-data.php).
The CCDS is proud to have been recognized since 1985, for its accounting practices, by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its excellence in financial reporting.
CCDS’ unrestricted closing fund balance (reserves) increased from $6.4 million as of June 30, 2017 to $113.4 million as of June 30, 2022, resulting in improved financial stability and ratings obligations. Despite Nevada’s lowest education funding status, CCSD educators, support staff, and administrators produce better academic outcomes with the money we receive.
Clark County School District
“As a retired Clark County educator, I have spent my career providing our children with the best education possible,” said State Senator Marilyn Dondero Loop, a Democrat from Las Vegas.
“As a senator, my job is to make sure the dollars go where they’re intended, which is the classroom,” Dondero Loop said. “I look forward to working on legislation introduced by the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means to ensure accountability and transparency in the Clark County School District.”