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For Immediate Release: April 6, 2007 Print Version (word)
GOVERNOR GIBBONS REBUTS FALSE CLAIMS OF EDUCATION BUDGET CUTS
Carson City – Governor Jim Gibbons today responded to two recent letters criticizing his budget requests for education, pointing out that his proposals actually add money to both K-12 and higher education budgets.
“My budget requests add $81,000,000 to K-12 education to replace lost county revenue, and it still increases the higher education budget by $153,000,000 in state funds—even after reductions in enhancements. I have made it clear that I am protecting K-12 education as well as transportation construction and child welfare enhancements. It is time to stop engaging in hyperbole and start looking at the facts,” said Governor Gibbons.
In a letter addressed to the governor yesterday, Assembly Ways and Means Chairman Morse Arberry (D – Dist. 7, Las Vegas) complained that K-12 education was receiving too little in the way of new enhancements, which are one-time increases to a budget, compared to other areas of government. Despite requesting other state agencies and offices to decrease their enhancements by 63 percent, the governor has cut no enhancements to K-12. In fact, his budget increases per-pupil spending from the current $4,696 to $5,329 in fiscal year 2009—an increase of 13 percent over the biennium. The combined allocation for K-12 and higher education is more than half of the state’s total budget.
In a separate letter, Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor James Rogers complained about the governor’s request to cut the enhancements in Nevada’s college and university system. The chancellor neglected to note that the governor’s request still gives Nevada’s higher education institutions a higher percentage of formula funding than any previous governor has included in his budget and the fact that the $153,000,000 in additional higher education money in Governor Gibbons’ budget—an increase of 13.3 percent in state funding—comes as student enrollment in Nevada’s universities falls short of predictions. Approximately 8,000 fewer students are now enrolled than had been anticipated in current budgets.
“Let us put this into perspective,” added Governor Gibbons. “I have asked all state agencies and constitutional offices—including my own—to cut their enhancement budgets. All have made meaningful reductions except higher education. The Legislature has agreed to cut its enhancements as well. We’re all managing to live within our means. Education is one of my top priorities, which is why I’m committed to provide our schools with more money than they’ve ever had before, even though university enrollment is dropping. In a time of belt tightening, other education proponents would do well to look at the facts before they publicly criticize an education-friendly budget.”
Letter to Assemblyman Arberry (pdf) Letter to Chancellor Rogers (pdf)
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Brent Boynton, Communications Director (775) 684-5668 - Melissa Subbotin, Press Secretary (775) 684-5667 Office of the Governor . 101 North Carson Street . Carson City, NV 89701 . Fax: (775) 684-7198 Grant Sawyer State Office Bldg . 555 East Washington, Suite 5100 . Las Vegas, NV 89101 . Fax: (702) 486-2505