LAS VEGAS -- A new report card by Rutgers University gave Nevada an F grade for funding education for children living in poverty.
The latest numbers by the National Center for Education Statistics also ranks Nevada 44th in the country when it comes to overall spending per student, which sits at $9,650.
New York comes in first in spending at about $20,000 per student.
It is going to be a long road to get that much money, but in the meantime, the Clark County School District says it is trying out a new strategy it hopes will soon benefit three main groups of students in the most need of extra funding.
Right now, every student in Clark County is allotted about the same amount of money by the state. The money pays for everything from books to computers to the teachers in the classroom, but the school district says that formula is outdated.
"The students don't necessarily cost the same amount to educate," CCSD Chief Financial Officer Jim McIntosh said.
McIntosh says education costs more for three groups of students: the English language learners, special needs and kids living at or below poverty line. He also says the number of students in those groups is growing.
Because the state is already among the lowest in the country when it comes to education spending , a new task force has been set up to find ways to distribute state money more fairly to kids who need more help.
"The task force is taking the pie and redistributing it, but I think all of the school districts in Nevada recognize the pie needs to get larger," McIntosh said.
Lori Sarabin is the principal at Cimarron-Memorial High School. She says at the top of her wish list is more money for better technology on campus.
She says many of the curriculum are now online and new computers and iPads help level the playing field for students who may not have these gadgets at home.
"No one can be left behind, everyone needs to move forward together," Principal Sarabin said.
The school district says even if the legislature approves the new school funding formula in the next session, in the long run, more money needs to be allotted to every student in every classroom.
"We can redistribute funds all we would like, but the bottom line is what we start with is not adequate and hopefully the community will begin to recognize that," McIntosh said.