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April 20, 2015

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Tentative schools budget includes 2,500 layoffs, pay cuts, larger classes

School budget cuts

KSNV coverage of presentation of tentative Clark County School District budget, March 24, 2011.

Click to enlarge photo

People pack a Clark County School Board meeting Thursday, March 24, 2011, to hear details of a proposed budget that would cut $411 million from the district, resulting in layoffs, pay cuts and increased class sizes.

Carolyn Edwards

Carolyn Edwards

The mood was somber as Jeff Weiler, chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, finished a presentation Thursday night at a School Board meeting.

Sitting in front of a standing-room-only crowd, Weiler served as the bearer of bad news: As part of a tentative 2012 budget, $411 million would be cut from the district and nearly 2,500 employees would lose their jobs.

The tentative budget includes a 7.8 percent reduction in salaries for all employees, a 25 percent cut in funding for textbooks and supplies, a 20 percent cut in administrative department budgets, an increase in health insurance costs for employees and an increase in class sizes by three to seven students.

“I think this is outrageous and I think there should be a swell of protest by the public,” School Board President Carolyn Edwards said of the budget developed to address education cuts in Gov. Brian Sandoval’s overall state budget proposal. Sandoval has vowed not to raise taxes.

“We have a governor who is well-intentioned, I believe. However, I think he is misguided,” Edwards said. “He has made a political promise in the campaign that he feels obligated to stick to that will devastate the education this state. We will not be able to build an economy that will sustain itself without an educated populace.”

Those attending the meeting applauded.

“You should not be allowing this to happen,” Linda Young, vice president of the board, said to the packed room. “You have a voice; you voted them in. You can vote them out. I mean, enough of this is enough. We went through this last year. What are we going to do? Go through this again next year?”

Officials said the proposed layoffs would have a ripple effect on the already struggling economy.

Applied Analysis calculated that 2,486 layoffs would translate to 5,593 jobs lost in southern Nevada, with $889 million in annual lost economic output.

“For every one position we cut, there would be a ripple effect in the economy of 2.25 people,” Weiler said. “Obviously, if we have to cut more positions in a Plan B scenario, that multiplier will go up.”

John Carr, president of the Education Support Employees Association, said he was “getting sick just sitting here.”

“I’m amazed that we’re asking for a $400 million budget cut when the governor put in the paper that he’s only asking for $200 million statewide,” he said. “Why does Clark County have to cut $400 million...when we’re one of 17 school districts?”

In addition to layoffs, the proposed budget projects class sizes would increase from 18 to 21 students on average in first and second grades, from 21 to 24 in third grade, from 30 to 35 in fourth and fifth grades, and from 32 to 39 students in grades six through 12.

“I am disgusted with the thought of having to put one more child in any single classroom,” board member Deanna Wright said. “It’s unworkable now; it’s unmanageable. You talk about people having classroom issues, well, you know what? You pile people so high, they’re not going to behave.”

Wright elicited applause from the crowd after talking about the inequity that teachers on the “bottom rung” will face from proposed pay cuts.

“We are now perpetuating the working poor,” Wright said. “You’re taking those lowest people on the rung of pay and asking them to contribute something that is potentially devastating to their families.”

Finally, Sheridan Rodrigues, an accelerated first-grader at Staton Elementary, took to the podium with his mother, Chantal Rodrigues, and pleaded with the School Board.

“Please don’t increase class size. The teachers cannot teach, and I want to go to a great university,” he said. “I love my teachers and my school and what they have taught me. Please don’t take away my teachers and class size.”

The adoption of a tentative budget will be held during a school board meeting at 8 a.m. on April 6. The State Economic Forum meets on May 2, and a meeting to adopt a final budget will be held at 5:30 p.m. May 18.

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  1. In the past week, we have heard the laments of School Board President Carolyn Edwards and how there "should be a swell of protest by the public." We are hearing it, and we are seeing that cry fall upon the deaf ears of our Nevada State Governor Sandoval.

    The very sad thing is, a huge majority of affected children are those of Mexican/Hispanic/South American nationals, who, habitually, as a rule, say nothing. Sure, they faithfully bring their children to school and make sure their children attend. They will attend free school activities to show they are supportive of their child learning.

    Now, the casino unions know how to convey to these folks how to protest. Maybe it would do the school district well to follow THAT MODEL, as it does seem to WORK!!!!

    Nevada is spending millions of dollars on ESL and trying to help these children make AYP, why not start working with teaching their parents on how to support the school district?

    In the absence of immigration laws being effectively enforced, and all employees being E-VERIFIED by the government, and in view of current stats from the US Census on the GROWING population of Hispanics/Mexicans/South Americans/Cubans, it would be a smart move to start adjusting the way we do business and live in Nevada.

  2. I realize no matter what we write here does not make any difference. The powers-that-be will continue wielding its power no matter what the masses say.

    They promised jobs. The voters believed them. I guess there was a typographical error. The word "to cut" before jobs, somebody erased to win elections. Congratulations!

    Egypt, Syria, Libya, and now Nevada. Anyone care to join?

    CALLING ALL TEACHERS! LET'S DECLARE THE WEEK OF APRIL 1 - APRIL FOOLS DAY. We are the fools. We are trying to make the future bright for all these children, but we are simply fooling ourselves. THEY DO NOT CARE!

    I WAS WONDERING IF WE COULD ALL STAY HOME AND WALLOW in our misery. Would someone please come to my classroom and WATCH the kids? Do you think casinos, where most of our students' parents work, would not mind if parents stayed home to watch their children? I want to stay home and weep, for a week.

    Our salary will be cut
    Our benefits will be cut because we cannot afford
    the premiums
    I have students loan to pay
    My house equity went poof!
    My insurance went sky high
    It costs an arm and a leg to gas up the car
    Our credit cards' APR has been raised
    Food costs more
    Clothes cost more
    Everything else costs more

    Our classrooms only fits 20 and we need a space
    for more
    We have to spend more money to buy supplies for more students
    We have to manage more students
    We have to tutor more students
    We have to discipline more students
    We have to grade more papers
    We have to meet with more parents
    We have to prepare more materials
    We have to prepare more report cards
    And, these are only a few of what we do!

    Many teachers will be affected by the RIF. Many of the excellent teachers we have are first and second year teachers! They are the ones the ax will hit!

    Where is justice?

  3. That THUD you hear???

    That's Nevader hitting the bottom.

    No Educator with the sense that God gave a Billy Goat
    will step foot in this state for the purpose of educating your kids.

    Many of those that are already here will see this as the last, great indignity of Nevada's Race To The Bottom.

    When you're sick, do you cut way back on your medical care in hopes of getting better?

    Nevader, put your DUNCE CAP ON and go sit in the corner.
    You have failed your children MISERABLY.

  4. Sandoval in not well-intentioned. He wants to be like Tim Pawlenty. Pawlenty was governor of Minnesota for 8 years. He did such a lousy job that he was replaced by a LIBERAL DEMOCRAT. Pawlenty left Minnesota with a 5 billion dollar budget deficit. However, he did say no to new taxes. That is what he's running on. So what if he did a terrible job and left Minnesota with a 5 billion dollar budget deficit, he said no to new taxes. That's what Sandoval is going to do.

    Last year Obama cut payroll taxes. The Republicans tried to kill that bill. I saved about $1,400 on last years taxes. Obama tried to extend it in December, but the Republicans were sucessful in stopping him. That's correct folks, the Republicans were against cutting taxes for small business people. Would have helped any employer who doesn't pay undocumented workers in cash.

    If Republicans like Sandoval are so against raising taxes, why did they fight so hard to stop Obama from cutting taxes for businesses?

  5. Nancy:

    I don't see how your situation is any different than that of most others in this state, regardless of their occupation. People are being asked to do more with less in all walks of life. You are no different than anyone else.

    What are you going to do today to change things?

  6. Now add in the $200 (guestimate) million in lost economic output from cuts to higher education, and readers can see the result: Governor Sandoval's kill-the-schools budget will be like hitting Clark County over the head with a baseball bat, with a possible $1 billion plus loss in economic activity.

    Is this what voters wanted? More jobs lost, more foreclosures, more misery? And now a community in which young people have limited choices and collapsed opportunities to raise themselves up out of poverty through education?

  7. To Turrialba: take a look at Nobel laureate in Economics Paul Krugman's column in today's NYTimes. This "make do with less" austerity plan Republicans keep arguing for is a complete failure in Europe. The policy you advocate amounts to a formula for economic catastrophe.

    Quote (NYTimes 3/25/22): "Portugal's government has just fallen in a dispute over austerity proposals. Irish bond yields have topped 10 percent for the first time. And the British government has just marked its economic forecast down and its deficit forecast up.... What do these events have in common? They're all evidence that slashing spending in the face of high unemployment is a mistake."

  8. @jackiebrown...

    "Why do the government unions think that they are a protected species? If you don't like your job, quit! Move! Go Away!"

    The lunatic fringe, the TeaNuts, the Neo-Cons, running their mouths with malice aforethought.
    They can't see further than the noses on their faces.
    "I, ME, MINE"!!!

  9. Professor Unger:

    Good morning. I am no expert on economics, but let me give your question a try. Perhaps you and others will add to it or correct me as needed.

    With all due respect to Dr. Krugman, he is lost in a Keynsian time warp that confuses 2011 with 1930. The concept is that Public spending will lift economies out of recession--deficits are okay during downturns, if you run surpluses during periods of prosperity. This assumes that both phenomenon are short-term and balancing.

    The answer to part of your question is "Ich bin Berliner".

    Portugal, Ireland and Greece and in deep economic difficulty for differing reasons. The Greeks cooked the books in a manner that more closely resembles Enron than Nevada. The Irish got stuck bailing out fail financial institutions created by a housing bubble created in a nation of 4 million souls that exceeds Nevada by a mile. A government that had no debt 5 years ago is now awash in it. The bankers and bondholders were bailed out.

    The common denominator in both cases is the Euro and a system of austerity imposed externally. In the absence of the Euro, the Irish and Greeks would have printed money and there would have been a currency devaluation and inflation. Our friends the Germans work to enforce fiscal discipline among EU members and lets face it they never warmed up to the southern Europeans. The Greeks and Irish are having austerity impose from outside from Germany (okay, technically, it is the European Bank, but the sole mission of the bank is to control inflation.)

    The result is money is flowing from Dublin and Athens to keep banks Frankfurt, Paris and Brussels from "taking a haircut" as the Brits call it.

    Austerity it seems in the EU is for everyone but banks and bondholders. In Ireland, a homeowner is underwater, and paying for banks that invested in real estate that is underwater and has defaulted.

    Whether they work this through in the short-term and it leads to long-term prosperity remains to be seen. In right now it is little more than a payoff to allow both nations access continued access to markets. The alternative of allowing banks to fail and/or printing money would have hurt standards of living.

    The US is in fact working on a Keynsian solution. The monetary and spending are at all time highs. The federal deficit is at record levels as is the national debt. We are having our Keynsian moment thanks to Bush and Obama.

    I don't see the relationship between Europe and the US at all. Talking aside, by the budget hawks, cutting $6 or $60 billion in federal spending is a joke. The federal government has not tried austerity but soon will. In either case, the situation today is a short-term phenomenon. Revenues are down. We have never tried austerity here.

    The long-term prospects are somewhat different, due to entitlement and debt service growth issues. This will take more revenues and reduced spending overtime, or an inflation tax.

  10. Part 2--Ran out of characters and time,

    What does this have to do with Nevada. First and foremost, Nevada relies on the outside world for its economic well-being. The economy will not improve here until elsewhere. Austerity is imposed from forces outside Nevada. Life is easy when others pay our taxes for us.

    Second, there is a limited tax base under the existing laws and constitutional stuff. Additionally, the no tax crowd won in November. Austerity is imposed from within. As a society, Nevada has chosen this path and can certainly change when officials decide or the electorate.

    This is out world. It is not Krugman, but Nevada.

  11. Don't blame me, I didn't vote for Sandoval. Although I'm not Reid supporter, he would have been a better choice for governor. Sandoval can only see tomorrow and maybe a year down the road. In four years Nevada will be so much worst off then we are today and then maybe Nevada voters will correct their mistake. Any dem or rep will be a better choice.

  12. I disagree truthiness. I believe Sandoval only cares about his politcal future. Just say no to new taxes, and he can be like Pawlenty. Doesn't matter how bad a job he does, as long as he doesn't raise taxes, maybe a Republican presidential candidate will pick him to be his running mate in 2016 or later. Tall, handsome, and Hispanic. Vice President Sandoval.

  13. As a teacher, this is a sad, sad day. This budget cut represents a cut of a little over 20% of CCSD's budget. I don't care how resourceful you are, you can not cut 20% out of anything and remain unscathed. I just wanted to say that while not all teachers are great, there are a lot of really good teachers here who really care about the community and their students.

    I put in 70-80 hours a week during the school year; I'm always available for my students, even via email on the weekend. I work very, very hard for my money. If these cuts go through, I won't be able to live here any longer. Not only do I not want my son to be in an unsafe overcrowded classroom, I simply can not afford to live here with a $4,000 pay cut. At what point can we agree as a community that we need to value education? Why is it the most educated states provide adequate funding for their education? There is a correlation between spending and achievement.

    If these cuts go through, we will be facing the consequences for decades, not years. I asked my students today how many actually wanted to stay here-- and only a few said they did. Most want to leave because they believe the state hasn't invested in what matters-- education, healthcare, parks, and other measures of quality of life. If you want government to stay completely out of your business, move to Somalia. Otherwise, let's do what we need to to protect education, even if that means raising taxes.

  14. Oh Professor Unger: Have you no response to my answer to your question?

  15. Zetman:

    Stay and fight. Some of us have made this choice. We don't agree on how to proceed, but we can all try to make this a better place to live.


  16. Turrialba: I do my share every day!

    Geez. I know people will come out of the woodwork and criticize again.

    Well, now you know how whining feels like. Now, imagine it being done to you every day, all day long. Get the picture? How much would you want paid for that? $30,000; $40,000; $50,000? Now imagine just 5 of them doing it every day. "I didn't do my homework! I left my book at home! My Mom forgot my lunch! I am sleepy! My hand hurt! I need to go really bad!

    People. Stop talking fancy things. It does not solve the problem. Get down to the nitty gritty of things and stop acusing or calling people names.



    When people talk bad about school, they really sound ignorant because what they are saying are not true. I KNOW. I am here in the trenches every day.

    To those people who keep harping about the Swedish - European style of teaching. How come you are not educated yourself! You do not have respect and you use the lowest form of argument: Calling people names. If Sweden is so great, why are you here? Go back where you come from.

    A Rose by any other name would still smell sweet. You are everything but. I am so sorry you have a miserable life.

  17. LasVegas2011: I AM a "regular" taxpayer. I pay taxes, same as you. My family has sacrificed in this recession, just like most. To imply that I'm an overpaid whiner shows your ignorance and shows that people like you are more interested in whining about problems than finding solutions.

  18. To Turrialba: thanks for your thoughtful reply. Your summary of how European nations fell into a crisis seems right: a result of quasi-criminal Wall Street and international traders in the great real estate pyramid scheme, then the need to bail out "too big to fail" banks that were co-conspirators in the crimes.

    What Dr. Krugman points out is what to do about this: either spread out deficits over the long-term, with short-term stimulus spending by governments to restore employment until the economy recovers; or to impose drastic austerity in the form of severe budget cuts to reduce deficits. Governor Sandoval chooses radical cuts, a very painful, tragic mistake that will do harm to our state and its people.

    "The Sun" points up that cutting education this much will cause an immediate $889 million loss in economic output; add my guestimate of $200 million in lost output from cuts in higher education, and losing $1 billion in output is wrong not only for the pain this will cause for our society, and to laid-off professionals, but because such unprecedented cuts in education threaten to destroy vital infrastructure that took a generation to build, very hard to rebuild in the future.

    But the real difference is between money supply theories of John Maynard Keynes and laissez faire, "free market" theories of Milton Friedman. The one assumes centralized banking and government policies have the crucial role and can solve economic crises; the other that a "free market" will fix what government and financial policy cannot. I sat through lectures by Dr. Friedman at the University of Chicago. Friedman spoke in very ideal terms, of hypotheticals, then applied his hypotheses as critiques to government and banking historically to prove his points. He drew out a vision based on Adam Smith for an utterly unrestrained, unregulated "free market" system rooted in "self-interest" in which the "free market" would rule the economy.

    The problem: there is no "free market" in the 21st century; not one in energy (controlled by cartels, mega-companies); food not free (controlled by global agri-business); nor telecommunications (ATT merger); technology similar (Microsoft); and we all know about "too big to fail" banks. About the only "free" market is the one on e-bay. Our world has become as economist John Kenneth Galbraith prophesized in "The New Industrial State": the line between big business piracy and elected government has disappeared.

    The solution must come from citizens taking back society from this piracy; and from economic policies based on the well-being of the community, and the health and prosperity of the people, with long-term social policies including supporting equal choice and opportunity for quality education made available to young people based on hard work and merit, for enduring values.

  19. Sorry Professor. I am lost.

    The state of Nevada cannot run deficits. Keynes was not employed by the State of Nevada and my limited knowledge of his General Theory lead me to conclude that it has limited relevance in Nevada in 2011, except in a graduate seminar in political economy. Nevada as a legal matter must balance its budget. Ditto to Milton Friedman. We should not be slaves to some defunct economists.

    We are here today. It is Nevada, March 26, 2011. The state's budget must be balanced in 3 months time. So if you are going to take the country back from the banks and multi-nationals in time to balance the budget, you better get started this morning. I would advise an early start.

    In the mean time those of us not involved in this herculean task can focus on a more mundane and immediate task--balancing the budget. The last time I checked, 55 cents of each dollar in the general fund goes to education. My recollection is that 40 cents goes to k-12 and 15 cents on the dollar goes to higher education. The other large portion goes for human services. The Economic Forum provides a projection of revenues. The budget must comport with that project or provide new revenues.

    Let's start looking for revenues. The federal government already does run huge deficits. We dropped $1 Trillion in the stimulus package 2 years ago. Most economists agree it did not help a great deal. Some like Krugman argue that it wasn't big enough. In the end the impacts were ephemeral at best and wasteful at most. The ARRA was not the New Deal.

    Call Harry, maybe he can put another package together, but I doubt it given that the ARRA is not popular among constituents here and elsewhere. Keynes left a bad taste in the public mouths.

    In the mean time higher educations has had two years to prepare itself for this moment, when stimulus would be no more. The response of higher education was to pass to nonsense delusional budget last August and have declare that they were standing up to Governor Gibbons. Terrific. I hope the Regents and the Chancellor feel good about their empty gesture, because it undermined any credibility they had with the public.

    End of Part I--

  20. Part II

    There three courses of action in front of us--taxes, cuts or a combination of the above.
    Let's talk about the proposition that cutting education will cost $1 billion of economic activity. I don't have time this morning to dig out the numbers, but lets assume that is gross for a moment and not net. Nevada cannot print nor borrow the way the feds do and therefore any revenues come from others. There is an opportunity costs associated with this. What would have been done with these funds but for the tax. Suppose I the monies would produce benefits of $1,000,000,001 in private hands as opposed to the schools? Your argument of investment faces a problem does it not?

    Second, you are laboring under the assumption that the money exists. In a world of 2.7 million people. Almost 14 percent of the workforce is unemployed. This does not include those who have left the workforce involuntarily and would return if they could. The houses owned by people in the Valley are worth 40 percent of what they were in 2006.

    The unemployment benefits have been financed through loans from the feds (our Keynsian moment). This has helped keep a lid on some of the most severe problems of unemployment. The reserve funds were depleted months ago and the state owes over a $1 billion. I should say employers in this state owe over a $1 billion because they are the group that is saddled with this. No only are there customers poorer, so are they because they had to let workers go.

    There is not a whole left to tax other than the mines at this point and this is difficult.Where are those Dems when you need them. Hiding with the Republicans on this. The pool of potential tax dollars is quite limited.

    In sum, the assumption that tax dollars exist is questionable. Second, the assumption of the social costs of cutting education appear to be incomplete.

    End of Part II.

  21. The discussions in this forum remind me of a time a mechanic tried to repair my car. I was complaining of a ticking sound - metal to metal - that had been bothering me. Not too loud, just enough to hear when I started the car.

    The mechanic attached my car to a computer and did all kinds of tests with it. Nothing was wrong. I was presented with a large bill for all the tests he made and for his time. I was livid.

    When I came home, I decided to open the hood and listened very closely, honing in to where the sound came from. I found the culprit! It was a shim that settled itself on a crook outside the engine. Everytime the car turned on, it jiggled, hitting the surrounding metal. I took it out, the sound went away!

    Lesson of the day: Stop talking about finance, studies, and other fancy things (being the mechanic). It does not solve the root of our problems with society. It is simple. Think of the children (the shim)! Stop buying them toys. turn off the TV (the tests!) Spend some time with them - half an hour a day and do things with them: talk, play, read, write.

    Let the Wizards-of-Oz do what they shamelessly do best. Find a way to get back to Kansas!

  22. Part III

    How do you move forward?

    Let's test some assumptions. First, the return on higher education. As applied thus far, the return on investment that has been discussed is generic. Not all majors yield the same returns. Further, no evidence has been put forward to show that returns have increased at the same rate that costs have. Indeed look at what has happened. Should we start culling the non-performing majors? This is your metric not mine Professor. Are your graduates of the same quality and caliber as graduates thirty or forty years ago? Are you among those who lament that you can't assign a book a week the way you could in the good old days?

    A better method is to put in place price caps that would apply to tuition and taxpayer contributions according to a specified formula. In the end, higher education will have to control its costs or it will be priced out of business. You guys at higher education have the best minds in the state, figure it out. The current economics are not sustainable. I know you have trouble getting into this one, but it is tough to avoid.

  23. Part IV
    On to K-12. The Sad Teacher writes above that I don't know what is going on in the schools today. That is true, but it sure is hell isn't learning. The public school system is a failure in Clark County and in Nevada. It gets an F. 50% drop out and many of the 50 percent who graduate lack the most basic skills necessary to succeed in life.

    The schools are filled with well-meaning and dedicated teachers, armed and educated with the latest and best theories of teaching from UNLV and other institutions of higher learning. After 12 years, the kids can't read or write. There is no correspondence between what the theories and reality as judged by the success rate. Higher education gets an F for doing a lousy job of preparing teachers to teach.

    Parents do a lousy job of preparing their kids to go to school each day. They are poorly prepared and lack the very work ethic that parents take to their jobs each day. Johnny and Mary can't read or write after 12 years and probably wont' graduate. It is the parents. An F for parents.

    In the end the public is culpable. We elect the officials who run the schools. The schools stink. How do we fix it? The public gets an F to go with the School's F.

    The idea of raiding the reserves to pay operating expense that was floated by the governor gets an F as well, as do the legislators who want to raid the coffers for other reasons. The governor and legislature get an F for fiscal responsibility.

    It is amazing that we spend almost $8,000 per year per student in Clark County and get so little in return. Take the cuts and live with them, unless and until the district comes back with something that solves these problems. You want to throw more money at a system that is a failure and tell me that it is a good investment?

    Solution--we work through the short-term as proposed (yes, cuts are coming), by minimizing the number of layoffs in the short-term. We regroup. Yes, there will be some sacrifices made. Everyone I know has taken cuts, paid more for insurance. It is our 1929 and we have to dig within ourselves because our pockets are empty.

    I am willing to invest professor, but I lack the money and what you offer has a return far less that what you show in your investment prospectus.

  24. Morning Nancy.

  25. I enjoy reading the mindless liberal trolls replies and learning even more about the stupidity of each one of you.

    The economy has changed and the tables are turning. The golden goose that laid the golden egg for you is gone forever, the state population has decreased and the working class is way over taxed and we're sick and tired of taking care of you and your lazy self righteous whining kids. Just in case you haven't noticed, look around and you will see all the vacant homes, there are 100's of thousands of vacant homes, they're empty. So you're not confused, this means these families have moved which means thousands and thousands of kids are no longer in the school system.

    What you're failing to realize is that most of you are either on welfare or sucking off the public system in some fashion or another and it's about time you get off your lazy rear end and get a job and pay your fair share. This might mean you need to pack your duffel bags and round up your offspring and move to another state, we don't care; you just need to get a job and pay your fair share and stop sucking off our taxes.

    Am I going to hear this one now, what jobs, there are no jobs, you voted the liberal idiots into office, and yes this includes Obama and it's about time you suffer the earned consequence for your votes. Most of America doesn't care if you live under a bridge or hold a sign up begging, you created your own nightmare and you've all sucked off our money for way too many years. It is about time that you are all held accountable for your choices that you made for you and your offspring; it's time for you to enjoy it and reap the benefits of your mindless troll mentality.

    The public system is broken and we not paying anyone the excesses paid for you or your offspring to continue sucking off system. We're not going to enable you or your offspring to continue the cycle of your pathetic choices. It's about time the life cycles of your gene pool learns something new, accountability, working, responsibility, and you are creator of your own destiny.

    You want smaller class sizes, stop the entire baby making machine process and only have kids if you can afford to support them on your own. Stop allowing the illegal immigrants right to have their offspring in the USA so that they too can suck off the system.

  26. As for teachers, you have the freedoms to do as you wish, quit and move somewhere else unless you feel the only way to create an income for you and your family is suck off the taxpayer funds for the rest of your life. If this is your desire, you are responsible for your choices. Quit your whining and reap the benefits of your choices and stop blaming others for your choices in life.

    Remember you are supposed to know right from wrong and you're supposed to be a leader that kids look up too. Try something new, lead by example and by all means, try being accountable for your choices that you made for you. Being a teacher was never a job that created wealth, it is a job that should be done for pennies or as a second career and you're supposed to enjoy it.

    The difference between trolls and regular people is that you feel just because the unions and liberals say it so then it must be true and you follow their lead. Try thinking for you and make your own choices in life. If you lose the codependency of others you feel that you need in your life and you become independent, life becomes much easier and you can look yourself in the eyes and like what you. Until then you're going to be a bunch of lazy whining self righteous freeloaders blaming everyone else for your pathetic gene pool you've created.

  27. Was I just called a liberal troll?

  28. Rose:

    Blaming the teachers it too easy and too simple. They are employees. Management is ultimately responsible for the performance of the employees.

    Management signed the contracts; management agreed to the work rules; and management must be held accountable.

  29. In forensics, before a debate starts, there is an agreement of the basic premise(s). People here have diverse frames of references, so this forum is nothing but an exercise in yadiyadiyadida.

    I suppose it's cathartic to some, and in that respect, beneficial. BUT IT DOES NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM!

    Education is everyone's problem. These little children will be the president, the congressmen, the senators, the governors, the Police, the firemen, the teachers, the lawyers, etc. etc, and they are going to be running the show - making decisions about what you eat, where you sleep, and what medicines you are going to take! What are you gonna do about that! For starters, spend some time with a kid!

    Do something NOW. Stop the yadiyadiyadiyadida.

  30. Morning Turri. Had your caffeine yet?

  31. Nancy:

    LOL. It took quite a bit caffeine to crank my tome out this morning. Happily I am a morning person.

    Professor Unger has been keeping me busy with writing assignments the past couple of days--Keynes, Friedman, Krugman etc. He seems to get a kick out of it. Thus far I have been happy to comply with long-winded response to his various questions.

    May I ask what grade you teach and what you are teaching the students this week?

  32. Quick post: again, thank you to Turrialba, and to all posters here for such good, thoughtful discussion. I agree that what is most important right now is to live in the solution.

    Here I are four new bills before our legislature that offer a solution, as introduced by District 3 Assemblywoman Peggy Pierce:

    AB 333 / Raises the tax on liquor and cigarettes.

    AB 335 / Is a services tax. Many states are moving in this direction, as people are using more services and the revenue from the sales tax in declining. Selected services to be taxed are more likely to be used by people who can afford to pay.

    AB 336 / Is a broad-based business tax, known for twenty years that Nevada needs to widen our tax base. AB 336 will do that, and this bill includes a large deduction for small businesses and is at a rate lower than the surrounding states.

    AB 428 / Revises the Net Proceeds of Minerals Tax, the tax on mining. This will require the mining industry to contribute to our state at a higher level.

    These bills, if approved, will go a long way toward preserving state services infrastructure, including education and vital social services, that almost every outside consultant who has studied Nevada agrees that our state needs to preserve its economy and ensure prosperity into the future. They would be a big step toward taking Nevada back from big business piracy.

    And as in our previous exchanges: education has been cut, at all levels; cutting more now dismantles the system in tragic ways. About students: I don't know if I've stated this before, but at the NSHE level, the student performance has been improving; the success rate is improving; we need to do a whole lot more, but personally, I am mightily impressed by the seriousness and hard work of Nevada students, most of whom are older (median age 28), and have some first-hand experience in the so-called "real world". Our students are wonderful. This fight is for them. Will post on what is truly fine about our students in the future.

  33. To the people who think teachers are not doing anything:

    I have urged you to come to school to see what is really going on. So far, no one has responded to that invitation. So, I'll move the mountain for Muhammad:

    Las Vegas Academy for the Performing Arts have won academy awards for its orchestra and other programs. I watched the students play once and I wept!

    A-Tech has been winning national awards for excellence in academics.

    ECTA students have won gold medals from a national competition in culinary arts.

    Elementary students won national awards in spelling and geography.

    Elementary students won national awards in short story writing.

    High school students won national awards in newswriting.

    Elementary students have raised thousand of dollars for Katrina, Haiti, Chile, and now Japan.

    Many of our students are winning recognition for sports.

    And there are many more. Many of you do not know these because the paper only publishes when a teacher or adminsitrator do something they are not supposed to do.

    Teachers try very hard every day with interventions for those who come to school whose little brains are not ready because they are filled with 'garbage' from home. And, that is VERY DIFFICULT. Sometimes, you just cannot squeeze water from a rock.

    That is why I consider those people who put down teachers as IGNORANT. You really have no clue as to what we do. You only know what you read in the papers and that is really very narrow and SAD!

    Please get involved and volunteer at schools. Thank you.

  34. Professor Unger:

    One last point:

    If I understand your position, the services provided by higher education are so valuable as to be exempt from budgetary discipline. Your industry one one where costs have exceeded the growth of prices in the economy almost every year for the past 50 years. The argument that education provides benefits over the lifetime, misses the point that costs are out of control, and that the net benefits have eroded as a consequence. I have not heard a response from you on about controlling costs, only to raise taxes.

    You have argued that a Keynsian approach is suitable in this case and compared Nevada's austerity to Europe's. First and foremost, the US government is not in an austerity mode whatever Krugman says. We are spending like crazy. Keynes doesn't live in Nevada. European austerity is not Nevada austerity.

    The go after capital and banks story you offer is no mean practical nor achievable by June of this year, even if it were desirable. So this is where we land.

    The argument you provide offers more taxes as a solution. Yet, why should we feed the beast that offers no budget discipline? Someone's price will go up, whether it be taxes and/or tuition to cover these costs. 55 cents on the dollar in the general fund goes to education, of which 15 cents goes to higher education. Given the budget difficulties you face, your solution is to merely increase this funding. Right now the people in state are a lot poorer than just 4 years ago. You ask more, but have not offer the basic cost and budget discipline that every other family, business and government has had imposed on it. People have been taking hits and will take more. Instead the we hear the sky is falling. It won't fall if higher education adapts to the realities of 2011 in Nevada and across the country.

    As a citizen, I have a real problem writing another check for you guys, when there is little or no effort to reign costs in so that education is affordable for students and taxpayers. Thus far I have seen nothing from you to change my mind on this.


  35. To Turrialba: your claim that higher education has not imposed budget discipline is false, and even misleadingly false. UNLV has cut 27% of its budget in two years; and I can tell you from experience that I personally cut 15% from direct classroom expenditures, laying off 4 Faculty-in-Residence and 8 Part-time Instructors, then not filling 1 retirement and 1 transfer: 10% of the workforce in the department. This led to absolute compression of the schedule to 90% capacity (and achieving 100% capacity is impossible due to classroom space issues, and scheduling necessities, to accommodate our students' needs for required courses). And all over the campus, the budget discipline has been similar. It is to the point right now at which infrastructure is suffering: classroom computers necessary for some subjects are sorely in need of maintenance and there is a waiting list; and other resources are lacking (especially facilities repairs needed for maximum efficiency). And on and on...

    At the CSN, I swear, some departments have run out of paper to print necessary communications on and there is no budget to buy any more. And CSN has been cut so severely that it has turned down up to 10,000 students for admission in the past year alone.

    If this is not fiscal austerity and discipline, then I don't know what is. You keep accusing the system of not cutting costs. Show me the evidence! Show the public the evidence!

    And if you're talking about costs to build and grow, which were the mandates for the system at the beginning of the decade, then don't be so mendacious as to include these in general costs. The system is cutting costs, and has cut costs, and continues to cut costs. Coming up are salary reductions which the faculty and staff are more than willing to take IF the infrastructure can be saved. The problem now is that the infractructure will be dismantled. This is like building a bridge to span a chasm; now the bridge will be dismantled, destroyed; and Nevada will not be able to bridge that gap again for many, many years, if ever.

    So: I confront you with your false accusations that NSHE and CSN have not cut costs. That is patently untrue. Go inform yourself more thoroughly; talk to department heads and to the VP of Finance; see how much has been cut, and tragically so, when our state needs every resource it can find to diversify and build for a more propsperous future.

  36. its2hot, aka Tim Wiggin...
    You rarely EVER have a nice word about anything. Ever. Your comments on education and teachers are nothing different; Do you get your jolly's doin' that? Cause' there ain't a lick of sense in the dern things ya say, mate.
    Roseannaannadanna, aka Roseanrose,
    You, my dear, are a blithering fool.

  37. Professor:

    Read what I said. The cost of college has risen higher than prices in the general economy almost every year for 50 years. The challenge is to not cut this year, but to bring costs in line with prices in the general economy. Otherwise, you are pricing yourselves out in the long-term. It isn't about cutting this year, it is about cost control every year. That is what is going on. It is about the student and the taxpayer.

    It is about getting the Higher Education System in sync with the demographics of this state. It is about narrowing choices, but improving the choices that are available.

    That is the challenge in Nevada and elsewhere. You guys want more public support this session that is fine. I want some cost controls in place going forward.

    This is making ends meet today and in the future.

  38. I've got to say...
    On this page, we have some of the wisest & blatently idiotic comments I've read in a very long time.
    A big THANK YOU to Douglas, Turrialba, Joe, & Nancy for some reasoned, thoughtful & obviously enlightened commentary.
    It's been a pleasure.

  39. Gmag39:

    No bitterness for me, I just state facts from my point of view and how liberals have desecrated America into a human cesspool of no good for nothing freeloading mindless trolls that seek nothing more than to continue their mission to suck off others. We have tried it the liberal way and look at where America is today. Just so we have no misunderstandings, read below.

    The liberal way of life:

    Welfare, Workers Compensation, Permanent Disability and Unemployment Checks is the preferred choice of income.

    Promote and practice the sickest immoral sexual relationships and encourage their offspring to follow in their footsteps.

    Too stupid to thing on their own and expect everyone else to do it for them.

    Believe their elected officials actually care about them.

    Unions offer a better life and care about their members.

    People who choose to get up and go to work are to give to those who choose not to get up and go to work.

    Welfare is a god given right and making more babies for a living deserves an immediate pay raise.

    People aren't accountable for their own bad choices in life; everyone else is to blame and must pay that person for their bad choices.

    Why work, others will take care of them.

    Government is smarter than everyone; therefore, whatever the government says must be right.

    Just because another liberal says it to be true, then it's true.

    Illegal immigrants have equal rights and are entitled to all the freedoms and rights as legal citizens.

    Rape, killings, and every other form of despicable behavior one could imagine isn't that person's fault and society made them do it and they deserve a second change in life.

    Affirmative action works and we need to segregate people by race to continue the free money given to selected races.

    Wealth distribution given to others who are too stupid and lazy to get off their rear end and get a job.

    Kids aren't accountable for their choices and its okay to suck off of others.

    White people owe every other race and all other races deserve special treatment because they're not white.

    All races except white people deserve special holidays named after race specifics.

    I could continue this list but I am restricted on how many words and the words I would use would use to describe liberals would be deleted. There isn't a single thing positive I see in any liberal and if I had my way, I would rather see liberals vanish from the earth permanently.

    The bottom line, liberals are despicable excuses of a human being that actually have no functional use to most.

  40. Dear airweare (Mr. Lamy): have you ever considered running for office? If so, please let me know, and I'll put on a fund-raiser! Thank you.

  41. airware:

    American culture is gone and the new culture is all but American.

    Yes I would definitely put out the flame liberals are forcing feeding down America's throat. America is no longer America; we are becoming another nation where America's core values are desecrated into anything but American. Our founding fathers never imagined nor did they ever contemplate what has and continues to occur in America today.

    I for one would never succumb to a liberal way of life and I am sick of my tax being used that promotes any form of a liberal life style and their sick repugnant life style choices. From the illegal immigrants and their offspring, career welfare and their offspring or any other form of career public assistance that is their preferred choice of income has sucked us dry and the mindless liberal trolls are fighting tooth and nail to keep the free ride alive.

  42. airware:

    Silver spoons are earned by most, not given or born with at birth. It is the liberals that are breeding like rats and will stop at nothing to ensure their offspring continue to desecrate America into a land of free loading no good for nothing lazy pathetic baby making whining sniveling people that expect everything for nothing. These people are everywhere today and growing by the thousands each day and they actually expect those who choose to wake up and become productive members of society to give their hard earned money to their pathetic lives.

    As to the illegal's they come to America and break our laws and they're rewarded. They come to America not to enrich themselves; they come to suck off the system. liberals use them as tokens and expect Americans to pay for their tokens through entitlements and more freebies. When they enter legally and abide by our laws, they're welcome to come here and create the dream for their family.

    Illegal's are a great source of revenue; the unions and our government's pork barrel spending projects suck this up or whatever else they use it for. Every illegal immigrant who works and receives a paycheck has payroll deductions government taken from their paychecks, if union they pay into a union trust account with no legal avenue of collecting or using said deductions. Let's not get me going on the stolen identifications used to attain falsified documents, this has destroyed many lives and has cost Americans untold amounts of money to fix the identification theft by an illegal. The list goes on and on about illegal's and their offspring and you have the audacity to tell me that they're here to enrich themselves, this just proves a point and how screwed up America has become to even thing such a stupid thing. You are obviously part of the problem if you live here in America to even attempt to thing any positive about illegal's and their offspring.

    Yes America is the land of the free and we're proud of it, it the word free that is abused and is a source of entitlements that is clearly taken out of context by most. Free doesn't mean that the color of their skin or the particular race they fall under means they're entitled to special set asides they are to receive a lifetime of freebies from the taxpayer. Like I said when America becomes American and we're not separated by race or the color of their skin where entitlements are expected them, America will be what our forefathers thought. Until this occurs, we're heading down a pathway that will become quite ugly one day where the working class will stop tolerating a system that is obviously broken that the liberals promote.

    I am not a bro, I don't need set asides or special treatment that liberals and their offspring expect. I enjoy waking up and going to work and loath paying my taxes knowing a portion of my taxes is going to support liberals in some fashion or another that I know is being flushed down the toilet in some fashion or another.