SAGE commission meets for first time to discuss education

By Karen Castro |

Published 12/01 2015 07:24PM

Updated 12/01 2015 07:24PM

Copyright 2015 Cable News Network/Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

A new state commission is keeping a close eye on Nevada's K-12 education budget.

The 12 member group met for the first time Tuesday to brainstorm the topics that will be discussed in future meetings.  The Spending and Government Efficiency Commission's goal are to make better use of public education funds, along with eliminating inefficiencies.

First on the list is the cost of construction and maintenance of new schools.  The Clark County School District is scheduled to build 12 new elementary schools by 2018.

"We're gonna need more schools so maybe other ways that we can do that in a more efficient manner," said Glenn Christenson, the Vice Chairman for the SAGE Commission.

Celsa Camacho's three children attended Manuel J. Cortez Elementary school.  The school moved to a year-round schedule this school year to deal with overcrowding.
However, the district plans to build a new elementary school right across the street from the old school.

Members of the commission have enlisted the help of the Guinn Center for Policy Priorities.

"Our reports will have an analysis of what the issues are," said Victoria Carreon, Director of Education Policy, Guinn Center for Policy Priorities.  "We'll have some findings, and we'll also have some recommendations that can either be legislation or  things that school districts can implement on their own within existing law."

During future meetings, the SAGE commission is also expected to tackle other issues including the budget formula and the cost of personnel.

So far in CCSD, 88 percent of the budget is spent on employees.

"Particularly in how that 88 percent can be more efficient is in how we deliver education to our students," Christenson said.

In the meantime, parents like Camacho plan to wait patiently for new schools.


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