In her 2016 State of Education address Monday evening, Washoe County School District Superintendent Traci Davis identified insufficient funds for building new schools to relieve overcrowding and repairing aging schools as the district’s biggest challenge.
Without additional money, schools will reach a breaking point of overcrowding and buildings will fall further into disrepair, Davis said.
She said the district cannot maintain its current situation.
A committee independent of the district is preparing a ballot question for the November general election in which voters will be asked to approve an increase in the sales tax or an increases in sales and property taxes to provide $781 million in additional funding for new schools and repairs over nine years.
The Public Schools Overcrowding and Repair Needs Committee, which includes representatives from the Legislature, local governments, the PTA, teachers union, and labor and business groups, was authorized to draft the binding ballot measure through a law passed by the 2015 Legislature. The committee must have the question prepared by April 1.
In addition to the need for additional funding, Davis announced the district’s “90 by 20” goal—a 90 percent high school graduation rate by the year 2020.