LAUGHLIN — The Laughlin School Organization Team discussed the 2019-20 school year strategic budgets on Jan. 29. The goal was for members to gain information about how the school budget is allocated and things they could and couldn’t change.
Most of the discussion focused on what staffing positions should be created based on school needs. Last year, art was cut from William G. Bennett Elementary to make room for a full-time counselor.
“What is really critical in this budget right now is staffing,” Principal of Laughlin Schools Dawn Estes said. “The way the contractual timeline works is if we don’t create staffing in the spring, we can’t add them in the fall, which is policy procedure.”
Nevada allocates its schools a specific amount of funds based on student enrollment numbers and how close they are in closing the achievement gap.
No budget or allocation of staff was finalized in the meeting. It was really a time for SOT members to see how the budget workbooks for the Laughlin Junior/Senior High School and William G. Bennett Elementary would hypothetically play out based on decisions.
Interestingly, the state allocated enough money for one teacher to teach 58 fifth-graders at the elementary school.
Obviously, that is not possible so the funding has to come from somewhere else.
“Tonight we really have to just look at what is allocated and decide what is a priority,” Estes said. “Are the things we do directly going to make the students college and career ready for a global society? That’s what we are really thinking about.”
The plan is to come back on Feb. 12, which is the next SOT meeting, to vote on the budget and move forward after hearing from parents and teachers.