Hundreds Attend Meeting on Proposed Education Cuts - 8 News NOW

Hundreds Attend Meeting on Proposed Education Cuts

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LAS VEGAS - Long lines formed outside Green Valley High School Monday night. Hundreds could not get into the building. Inside, concerned citizens sounded off to lawmakers regarding education funding.

"Mr. Sandoval, this is not Little House on the Prairie. Stop funding education like it is," said Education Support Employees Association President John Carr.

The standing-room only crowd at the legislative subcommittee meeting, at times, felt like a rally. A majority of teachers, employees, parents and students filled the theater. They fear slashing school budgets will lead to real-life drama and trouble.

Beatty Elementary School third grader Christopher Hughes told lawmakers that deep district cuts will hurt his future and his ability to get ahead in life.

"I have Type 1 diabetes," he said. "Kids that take pills or have diabetes won't be able to be safe. We won't be safe anymore. Please support our education."

Others testified that Nevada can't keep throwing millions of dollars at schools that produce bad results. "If you were to increase the budget by 50 percent, the results will be no different. It's time for innovation and to change the system," concerned resident Rita Hickey said.

The Clark County School District may lose up to $275 million in funding.

"It's a huge cut to education that's being proposed. We haven't cut this much in one year ever," said Clark County School Board President Carolyn Edwards.

District leaders say the cuts could add 14 students to each classroom. Education leaders indicate they may call for an increase in property taxes to get by.

Worried parents, meanwhile, fear their children will pay the price for Nevada's fiscal crisis. "I don't want my fourth grader, soon to be fifth grader, in a class of 40," said parent and progressive activist Erin Neff. "He'll fall through the cracks. He won't learn."

The final dollar amount the schools will lose has yet to be determined. Education leaders are expecting a large cut.

The Clark County School District will hold public hearings on the budget crisis, programs to cut, programs to keep and ways the district can save money. The hearings will take place Tuesday, March 15, from 6:00p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the following high schools:

Chaparral High School

Mojave High School

Cimarron Memorial High School

Sierra Vista High School

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