Democrats supported using money from schools’ capital funds for operating costs in 2010

Victor Joecks

I’ve been going through the Assembly Democrats’ information sheet on K-12 education funding, which uses brazen distortions to claim there’s a $1.37 billion reduction to K-12 education spending in Gov. Brian Sandoval’s budget, and came across this nugget.

The 2009 Legislature, during the 26th Special Session, approved the use of a total of $45 million of Clark County School District capital projects funds as local funds available for operating purposes during the 2009-11 biennium.

In his proposed budget, Sandoval wants to use about $300 million from school districts’ debt service account for operating funds.

During this session, Democrats have rightly pointed out that using this one-time money is a gimmick and a poor way to budget.

It’s just ironic that the gimmick legislative Democrats are denouncing now is very similar to the one they used a year ago (money in the capital projects fund comes from selling bonds and money in the debt service account is used to pay those bonds off). This is a moment worthy of The Captain Louis Renault Award.

The real answer is to reduce spending, ideally down to pre-2005 levels, through performance-based budgeting.

Why pre-2005? Because in 2005, Nevada raised inflation-adjusted, per capita spending by 30 percent (pgs. 5-6).

That level of spending wasn’t sustainable then and isn’t sustainable now, as these gimmicks – from members of both parties – show.