Nevada governor donates salary to state's public schools

Nevada governor donates salary to state's public schools

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) on Wednesday made good on a campaign promise by donating his first check to public schools in the state. 

Sisolak said in letter to the Nevada State Board of Education that he would donate his salary every quarter to the Nevada Department of Education's Education Gift Fund until public education in the state improves.

"I asked the people of Nevada for the chance to lead this state for many reasons, chief among them being the opportunity to improve educational outcomes for every child in every classroom in the state," Sisolak wrote in a statement, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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"To show my commitment to this goal, the First Lady and I are donating my net state salary back to public education. It is my sincere hope that with these donations, I can begin to fulfill my promise to our educators, families, and children and make a positive impact on our public schools."

Sisolak's communications director Helen Kalla told CNN that the governor has an annual salary of $163,474. 

Sisolak plans to follow through on this commitment throughout his four-year term as governor. His office said the governor has instructed the Department of Education to distribute the donation evenly to all 416 of the state's Title 1 schools. Title 1 schools are institutions with a high percentage of low-income students. 

"Governor and First Lady Sisolak have instructed the Dept. of Education to distribute their donation evenly to Title I schools across the state each quarter so that each Title I school receives a one-time donation of $1,000, with any remaining funds in the account distributed evenly to all Title I schools," his office said. 

Sisolak, who was inaugurated in January, is independently wealthy. He earned $15 million in a judgment against a Nevada county over airport property rights in 2007, the Review-Journal reported

He vowed in February 2018 that he would not "take a salary until our schools are back on track."

"I will donate my salary to nonprofits that help support educators and students in and out of the classroom," Sisolak said

Sisolak, in his State of the State address earlier this year, asked the Democratic-controlled legislature to raise teacher pay by 3 percent.

The move comes after several high-profile teacher strikes in recent months demanding higher pay and better benefits.