LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A push for a legislative audit of the Clark County School District (CCSD) is gaining momentum as Democratic support emerged with the 2023 Legislative Session approaching.
A Bill Draft Request calling for a legislative audit is intended “to ensure efficacy and transparency in school district funding,” according to a Monday news release from the Nevada Assembly Democratic Caucus. Changes to school funding that went through in the 2019 Legislative Session revamped a 50-year-old funding formula.
Millions in COVID-19 relief funding was routed to education in Nevada, and the funds provided part of the money needed for increasing the starting pay for teachers in Clark County. How that funding fell into place has raised questions.
“Financial transparency and accountability is key to ensuring confidence in CCSD,” said Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Ways & Means. Carlton, a Las Vegas Democrat, represents Assembly District 14.
“I requested this bill because my constituents routinely ask me about this issue,” Carlton said. “This request for a legislative audit will allow the Legislature to more proactively engage with CCSD to fully answer these questions to the satisfaction of parents, students, teachers, and staff impacted by these decisions. We look forward to working collaboratively with CCSD leadership on the audit.”
CCSD responded with a statement on Monday afternoon.
As legislators look to review CCSD finances, we welcome the opportunity to demonstrate our student-focused spending transparently. Per pupil funding for CCSD schools increased by 25% over the last four years. Whether legislators calling for an audit or the public looking to review our accounting, our financial reporting has been and remains available at Open Book (https://openbook.ccsd.net/index-data.php).
CCSD is proud to have been recognized since 1985, for its accounting practices by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its Excellence in Financial Reporting.
The unassigned ending fund balance (reserves) of CCSD increased from $6.4 million as of June 30, 2017, to $113.4 million as of June 30, 2022, resulting in better financial stability and better bond ratings. Despite Nevada’s lowest in the nation education funding status, CCSD educators, support staff, and administrators produce better student academic outcomes with the money we receive.Clark County School District
“As a retired Clark County educator, I spent my career providing our children the best education possible,” said State Sen. Marilyn Dondero Loop, a Las Vegas Democrat.
“As a senator, my job is to ensure that dollars are going where they are intended, and that is to the classroom,” Dondero Loop said. “I look forward to working on legislation being introduced by the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means to ensure accountability and transparency in the Clark County School District.”