To understand how the marijuana tax revenue breaks down, you have to understand what the Nevada Plan is.
The Nevada Plan was approved in the 1960’s to give all kids an equal educational opportunity. The way it does that is by putting finances to a formula that guarantees funding for schools. It balances out the guaranteed funding.
Many parents in Nevada voted to make marijuana legal because they thought the money would help fund schools.
“I think a lot of people thought it would be beneficial to kids because they saw that the tax revenues would go to schools. For them, that was a win,” said Rebecca Garcia, a parent and volunteer of Education Advocacy.
But were voters tricked? Rebecca Garcia believes so.
So does the School Board Trustee Vice President.
“Legislators know that this is what’s happening. It’s not a secret. It’s just not well understood,” said Carolyn Edwards.
Let’s start with the giant state pot of money called the Distributive School Account or DSA. Clark County gets about $5800 for each student from the state. That number is decided by a formula called the Nevada plan.
The money made from marijuana tax revenues, that’s $24 million, goes into that state pot. When the money into the pot, the balance goes up. But, the per pupil funding that Clark County gets doesn’t.
“The revenue gets added to the big pot at the state level. It just doesn’t increase the amount our school district sees. That’s what stays the same,” said Garcia.
So, when CCSD argues that it’s not seeing any more money, it’s right.
“It replaces money. It doesn’t increase money,” said Edwards.
When the state says the money goes to education, it’s right too.
“No matter how many times we past these new taxes, because of the way education funding at the state happens right now, it doesn’t actually add money to our school district. Everything still kind of stays flat because of the way school funding has been since the 60s,” said Garcia. “So when we get more marijuana money, it just means that the state can take money out of the bottom and use that to fill another hole in the budget.”
Garcia and local legislators are working to fix this problem.
8 News Now talked about one of those options last week. Senator Tick Segerblom is introducing a bill that would allow the marijuana money tax revenues to stay in the county where it’s generated.