"Staffing hurt by budget cuts" writes the Las Vegas Sun. Yes, that is true, in part. But when you take a close look at taxdollars devoted to salaries and benefits for K-12 education in Nevada you'll notice that salary and benefits outstrips inflation and student enrollment growth combined - even within the last couple of years.
2004 was the first full school year in which the 2003 tax increases (largest in state history) were available to fund education (also the first year available in detail from the Clark County School Districts detailed budgets). Since 2004, CCSD's general operating fund (what they consider the day to day operating budget for the school district) increased by 9.8 percent.
Salary and Benefits for CCSD employees grew by 12.1 percent - more than the operating budget and total budget.
This isn't surprising. After all, in 1955 the Clark County School District employed 1 person for every 20 students; today they employ one person for every 8.6 students. We have more employees in education earning far larger salaries and benefits, but is this investment producing the results we need?
Maybe it is time we start thinking about the outcomes for children rather than how many jobs K-12 education can provide for adults?
FYI, if you think 2004 is an arbitrary figure to select, that date is higher than 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 with 2000 being the low point in the last decade. And if you are worried about the recent budget cuts, these increases are AFTER the budget cuts. In fact, per-pupil spending devoted to salary and benefits hasn't gone down...AT ALL since the recession started.