2019 Budget Process

     WCSD Board of Trustees Approves

    Structurally Balanced Budget for 2019-2020


    Reno, NV (June 25, 2019) – For the first time since the Great Recession in 2008, the Washoe County School District (WCSD) Board of Trustees has passed a structurally balanced budget. This budget also funds a three percent raise for teachers and staff, increases funding for Special Education, covers the operating costs of three brand new schools, and has no increase in class sizes and no further cuts.

    This was accomplished thanks in large measure to actions by the state legislature and governor during the session that just concluded. The Board of Trustees has also made $61.9 million in ongoing budget cuts over the past three years.

    “We are grateful to our lawmakers and to Gov. Steve Sisolak for their strong commitment to education in our state,” said WCSD Board President Katy Simon Holland. “As a District, we sought extensive public input on budget matters and held numerous public discussions at Board meetings throughout this process. We made cuts and the legislature and governor added more funding to allow us to give staff a raise, keep class sizes down, and pass a budget that requires no cuts in the following year. This speaks to our overall commitment as a District to using taxpayer dollars efficiently and effectively. This is a good day for our 64,000 students and more than 8,000 staff members.”

    “The submission of this amended and balanced final budget reflects the culmination of many tough decisions,” said Chief Financial Officer Mark Mathers. “Earlier this year, before the legislature concluded its work, the WCSD Board of Trustees approved a total of $11.1 million in reductions. Fortunately, Washoe County School District was able to collaborate closely with our state lawmakers and Gov. Sisolak, who provided much-needed resources for our students. They also gave us greater flexibility to use our funding more wisely for our community’s needs. This allowed us to balance our budget without making further cuts to important programs and services provided by the District to our students and their families.”

    Budget details:

    The District’s operating budget funds a 3.0 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for the biennium and salary step increases (“roll‐ups”) for employees. Balancing the budget was accomplished without increasing class sizes, and without cuts to school safety programs, reducing school librarian positions, sports programs, warehouse positions, or making additional reductions to custodial and groundskeeping positions. A 6.5 percent increase to Special Education funding, including a number of additional positons, is also provided in the budget.

    The additional funding provided by the legislature in the 2019 legislative session, which includes the redirection of the retail tax on marijuana sales from the State’s Rainy Day Fund to schools, helped to cover the District’s remaining $7.9 million deficit, which was shown in the final budget presented to the Board of Trustees in May.

    Because the amended budget is balanced and ongoing revenues are expected to cover ongoing expenses, the District will not have to pull from General Fund reserves to cover any shortfall in the budget. State law allows local agencies to file an amended budget within 30 days after adjournment of the legislature to account for legislative changes that have a fiscal impact.

    With the additional funding from the State, the Fiscal Year 2019-20 amended budget, which was approved today, is structurally balanced with no deficit.

2019 Community Forums

  • Washoe County School District conducted a series of community forums to review the results of the community survey (see below) and the proposed Fiscal Year 2019-20 budget. These community forums provided an opportunity for the public to interact directly with the Board of Trustees and District staff.  Your input was valuable, and we hope that you attended one of these meetings.

    • January 24, 2019, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Towles Elementary School. This meeting was open to parents, staff, students, and community members. 
    • January 31, 2019 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. at Washoe Education Association. This meeting was open to all District employees.
    • The February 4, 2019 Budget Forum was rescheduled to February 7 due to winter weather.
    • February 11, 2019 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. was held in the District Board Room. This meeting was open to parents, staff, students, and community members. View Video