Click here Las Vegas - Once again Nevada was given an “F” in school finance proving it ranks among the most unfair to students according to the 2018 National Report Card released this week by the Education Law Center and Rutgers School of Education.
"We continue to rank in the bottom for K-12 funding while our students and teachers continue to be asked to go for so long with so little. It’s no wonder we are not performing well academically", said Jenn Blackhurst, president of HOPE for Nevada. "This is why we started the Fund Our Future coalition, to demonstrate that Nevada's communities are united in an effort to stop shortchanging our students and provide them with the resources they deserve."
Earlier this month, HOPE for Nevada, in partnership with Educate Nevada Now and teachers, students and education advocates throughout the entire state launched the Fund Our Future Nevada coalition to campaign for increased funds for Nevada’s K-12 schools.
Other notable findings from the report highlight Nevada’s failure to fund in categories that include fiscal effort, funding distribution and funding levels.
The National Report Card uses data from the 2015 Census fiscal survey, the most recent available.
“Nevada has been bouncing back successfully since the recession in job growth, real estate, tourism and gross domestic product, it’s time we shift our focus on ensuring the same level of progress for our students,” said Sylvia Lazos, policy director for Educate Nevada Now (powered by The Rogers Foundation).
Nevada did perform well in the Coverage category which measures the share of school-aged children enrolled in public schools compared to private schools.
“The NRC released today is a sobering reminder of why unfair school funding is the most significant obstacle to improving outcomes for our nation’s public school students,” said David Sciarra, Education Law Center Executive Director and report co-author in a press release. “The stark reality is most states still fund their public schools based on pure politics, not on the cost of delivering quality education to all students.”
Overcrowded classrooms. Too few teachers. Aging education materials. Chronic budget cuts. And poor test scores.
As the drumbeat to better fund public education continues in Nevada, those are the hallmarks of the seemingly never-ending conversation. And over the coming months, it’s poised to get even louder. Last week, a group of parents, teachers, students and education partners announced the launch of the Fund Our Future Nevada coalition, which hopes to build momentum for the K-12 funding reforms it deems necessary.
Read more in The Nevada Independent.
A statewide campaign launched Tuesday demanded adequate funding for students and highlighted Nevada’s position as the worst state in the nation for education and its low ranking for education funding.
Teachers, students and other members of the Fund Our Future Nevada campaign stressed the need for public awareness of the issues, noting that while recent investments are helpful, they’re not enough.
“Nevada schools are crumbling,” said Connor Leeming, student body president at Palo Verde High School.
Read more in the LVRJ.
Tomiyasu Elementary School doesn’t get any special treatment.
The East Las Vegas school doesn’t receive extra state funding for students learning English or living in poverty through the state’s Zoom or Victory programs. It also hasn’t received a cash infusion from a fledgling weighted-funding formula that’s designed to allot more dollars based on students’ needs.
So by the time Principal Renee Muraco finishes paying staff salaries, she only has $43,000 left to cover everything else — pencils, paper, crayons, custodial supplies.
Read more in The Nevada Independent.
Las Vegas, NV - Parents, students, teachers and education advocates from various parts of Nevada gathered yesterday at Tomiyasu elementary school to announce the Fund Our Future Nevada coalition and campaign to lobby for increased funds for Nevada’s K-12 system.
“Nevada remains one of the lowest funded states for education in the nation and our students are suffering as a result. It’s time we recognize that we have to increase funding for our schools,” said Educate Nevada Now Legal Director, Sylvia Lazos.
Students and teachers from Clark and Washoe discussed the challenges of limited resources and the large class sizes that don’t allow for individualized attention.
“As student body president, I consistently see budgets in schools being slashed, and although Nevada business is booming, once again our schools remain isolated and forgotten in the shadows,” said Palo Verde High School student, Connor Leeming.
Paul Johnson, the CFO for White Pine County expressed the difficulties rural school districts face and the uncertainty the new categorical funds present.
“We are grateful for the new funds but the fact that they have to be approved every legislative session makes it difficult to recruit teachers to move to our districts when they are funded through programs that aren’t guaranteed past two years,” he said.
Members of the coalition advocated for an increase to the base funding that pays for transportation, textbooks, school maintenance, salaries and other operating expenses.
“When adjusted for inflation the base funding for our education system has remained flat for the last ten years even while costs have increased,” said Lazos.
“It’s hard to blame the budget shortfalls on mismanagement when we see that many of our school districts are struggling,” said former first lady Sandy Miller.
The coalition also highlighted the $1.2 billion from the 2009 Room Tax meant to increase education funds that legislators have instead shifted to fill budget holes, along with the retail tax from marijuana sales that was allocated to the state’s rainy day fund.
“It’s so frustrating for me to hear people complain about our public education and say, ‘We’ve given them money and they haven’t been able to make improvements.’ When in fact that money hasn’t been used as the voters intended,” said Jenn Blackhurst president of HOPE for Nevada parent advocacy group.
Coalition members will continue to educate the community about the need for increased funds for schools and advocate to prioritize this issue during the next legislative session.
For more information and to sign the pledge to support the demand for increased K-12 funds visit www.FundOurFutureNV.com.
To support the campaign on social media use #FundOurFutureNV
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