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Taking School Construction Money to Save the State Budget?

Like a lot of the winning candidates in last week's elections, incoming Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval says he's not going to raise taxes, despite his state's serious budget woes. The Republican instead appears to be keen on a couple of unconventional alternatives: selling off some of his state's buildings for profit, then leasing them back, and rechanneling money designated for school construction to the state budget.

The reaction from school districts? A Clark County, Nev., schools official says her system supported an earlier plan to give up some of its construction money, to avoid having to lay people off. But now the district needs to make $4.9 billion worth of school repairs and renovations. Voters approved the funds in question for school construction, explained assistant superintendent Joyce Haldeman, and if that money were moved around, it would damage schools' "credibility for future projects."

But given state and local governments' post-recession blues, expect other public officials to consider making similiar budget swaps in the months and years to come.

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