“Nevada legislators told education funding is 58% of ‘adequate’” — that was the headline that topped the Las Vegas Review-Journal after a presentation by education funding experts at a recent Nevada Legislative Committee meeting.
While it was sobering to hear, the study was not surprising as it referenced several other studies in the past that demonstrated that same thing: Nevada does not fund education adequately. Funding “adequately” simply means providing students the funds for necessary resources to achieve and be college- and career-ready.
Key highlights from the Augenblick, Palaich and Associates presentation and report:
All of this information mirrors the same results from more than three previous studies commissioned by the Legislature in the last few years demonstrating inadequate funding. The difference this time around is that there is a strong energy from the community and a commitment from many legislators to finally fix the 51-year-old funding formula .
And yes, it is possible! The Fund Our Future Nevada coalition was pleased to present to the Committee on the many states that have recently modernized their funding formulas. You can view the presentation here.
Illinois, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, Washington and several other states have modernized their education funding formulas in recent years. We are also looking at New Mexico, yet another state that will soon work on establishing a new funding formula stemming from a recent lawsuit.
And since fully funding the educational needs of students can often seem daunting, states may set incremental goals to phase-in new dollars over time. Though the Augenblick report did not give a specific target, FOFNV estimates the additional need at approximately $2 billion. That may sound high, but we already have several tax resources originally meant to increase education and if these taxes were applied as intended by voters, they would help us get to that goal. The Committee passed a resolution to send the Governor Fund Our Future Nevada’s recommendations to ensure the IP1 Room Tax and Marijuana Taxes go to education and supplement instead of supplant funding. Don’t forget, we rank 48th in funding education; if we want quality schools we need to pay for quality schools. Our students deserve no less than an adequately funded education.
Fund Our Future Nevada coalition implores our State legislators to NOT SETTLE for a quick-fix that does not help all of Nevada's students. Let's not circle this issue again and order another study; we know without a doubt what the problem is, so let's work on the solution. The State must properly fund its students. We are ready and eager to support legislators in what will no doubt be an uphill battle. Our children must know that their leadership and community values them and their education, and it will all be thanks to everyone who supports this movement. The time for change is now!
Teachers, parents and students, are there any resources your school lost this year? Did your school have to give up electives, resource programs or the purchase of necessary equipment? Email us at: FundOurFutureNV@gmail.com
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