This is a press release submitted to the Las Vegas Sun. It has not been verified or edited by the Sun.
Teachers Respond to Governor's Proposed Budget
Published on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 (4:12 p.m.)Teachers Respond to the Governor’s Proposed Budget
Nevada Schools Need More Funding
Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 18, 2013 – Governor Brian Sandoval unveiled his proposed budget during the State of the State address on Jan. 16—a 6.5 billion dollar balanced budget largely predicated on the extension of $650 million in sunset taxes.
“We commend Gov. Sandoval for increasing funding for education and for publicly acknowledging the needs of our English Language Learners, as well as the importance of providing students with a solid start through full-day Kindergarten; however, that is only a start,” stated CCEA Vice President Vikki Courtney.
While Gov. Sandoval’s proposed budget for education increases funding by $135 million, it falls too short in meeting the needs of our growing and diverse student population. It is critical that the Governor and lawmakers recognize that Clark County, where more than two-thirds of Nevada’s student population attends public schools, has great needs that go unmet because they have failed to provide schools with adequate funding. CCEA urges Gov. Sandoval and Nevada’s legislators to find a long-term, adequate funding source for public education. This issue can no longer be evaded.
As Nevada currently ranks 49th in the nation in per-pupil investment, a good start to address education funding would be using the hotel room tax (IP1) revenue—worth approximately $270 million per year— to fund education as it was originally intended, not in the general fund as the Governor proposes. Another step legislators must take this session is revising the Nevada Plan to address the disproportionate formula used to distribute funds to school districts. Clark County’s students, who have the greatest needs, get the least funding by this increasingly discriminatory school funding mechanism.
To provide a voice for public education, thousands of teachers will be mobilizing, organizing, recruiting and engaging throughout the 2013 Session of the Nevada Legislature. Teachers vow to be out in full force advocating for more resources for our schools.