The New Math

How would you rid yourself of a few hundred million in expenses—and fast?

Gov. Sandoval’s proposed budget leaves the Clark County School District underfunded by $250-$400 million, and the district is asking for input about what to cut in an online survey and town meetings (6-8 p.m. March 15 at Chaparral High School, Cimarron-Memorial High School, Mojave High School and Sierra Vista High School).

That’s right, this is your big democratic moment. Egypt overthrows dictators; Nevadans get to weigh in on how best to reduce our investment in our children’s future. What branches of education should we lop off and toss on the budget bonfire? What services and activities shall we excise? What staffing and salary levels should we slash? The district has been good enough to offer a handy tool to help you as you hack away. At, a tally displays the results of your cleaving in each of 26 categories, from athletic programs to special education. And at the bottom of the page, there’s a pointed proposal: “I would support raising taxes to reduce cuts to education.” Check “yes” or “no.”

The online survey is a vicarious thrill for those who believe draconian cuts are justified, a startling civics lesson for those who haven’t been paying attention and a thoroughly gut-wrenching exercise for those who want the best for our children—who, by the way, will grow up to be the doctors, pilots, engineers and accountants we’re all going to need sooner than you think.