WCSD Wraps Up Community Budget Meetings - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

WCSD Wraps Up Community Budget Meetings

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The Washoe Country School District (WCSD) held nearly a dozen town hall meetings this month in an effort to gather feedback from the community about the upcoming budget.

Saturday morning, the last meeting was held, giving folks a chance to give some final input.

The WCSD could face a $32 million deficit next school year depending on the outcome of the legislative session. That means challenging times may lay ahead.

"It's pretty tough," says Dave Aiazzi, a WCSD Trustee. "We don't have a choice, we have to get through it. There's no crying or complaining about it."

District officials spoke to a handful of community members at Billinghurst Middle School.

"You don't get a lot of attendance here, but I always take solace in the fact that people who show up are the ones that their neighbors ask them about," says Aiazzi. "So, I always think that we're talking to a lot of people here."

The meeting, of course, centered around the questions parents had about the upcoming budget challenges and needs.

"As a taxpayer and as a parent, I sometimes have the same questions," says Paul LaMarca, the WCSD Chief School Performance Officer. "But, when it comes to something like capital needs, those don't go away."

Most of the meeting focused on Assembly Bill 46 in the legislature.

"Which would provide a revenue system that would enable us to do some of the maintenance repairs that we need for our buildings," says LaMarca.

LaMarca say those repairs are necessary. Our area has 93 schools, 63,000 students and employs 4,000 educators. Meeting their needs, officials say, is priority number one moving forward.

"We have to educate kids," says Aiazzi. "We have to do it in a safe way, and it will get done."

If Assembly Bill 46 is passed, Washoe County residents would see a quarter-percent sales tax increase along with a five-cent hike in property tax for every $100.

The school district says this would raise $20 million each year.

Written by Adam Rasmussen

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