Las Vegas Sun

April 27, 2015

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Despite $42 million spent, state computer system still not done

CARSON CITY — A high-ranking lawmaker has complained that $42 million has been spent over the years on a computer system for the public schools, and it has never been completed.

The state Department of Education, meanwhile, wants to spend $4 million more in federal funds to continue building the system to track a student’s progress and achievement from kindergarten through entering the work force.

The system network would include date from the Nevada System of Higher Education and state Employment Security Division.

Sen. Debbie Smith, chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee, told education officials Thursday she supports the effort but is frustrated the department returns session after session seeking more money.

James Guthrie, state superintendent of public instruction, said the system would be completed in 2014.

The exchange came at a joint budget committee hearing on the education department.

Of the $4 million sought, $1 million would go to the Nevada System of Higher Education and $500,000 to the Employment Security Division to tie these systems together to track student achievement and progress.

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  1. It's already obsolete, so if it ever does reach "completion" we can rest assured they will turn around and want to do it all over again. Not to mention that the price tag seems very high for this kind of system.

  2. Stories like this are worthless. They inflame people without giving a thorough assessment of the problems.

    We have no details as to the design, programming, problems or reasons the computer system would cost so much, not to mention the political issues that interfere with the process.

  3. Makes a person wonder: A few years ago, there was a GREAT PUSH for filling ECS positions at Nevada schools, with many classroom teachers taking the extra college coursework, getting the proper certification, and leaving the classroom for such positions. In the last few years, they were asked to serve several schools each week as the course of their employment.

    Yesterday I learned, that these same qualified ECS workers (who are also licensed teachers), are now given the ultimatum, as their job will next year be filled with "technicians" which is a support staff position (lower pay, different union) or interview for a classroom teaching position. How about them apples????

    Seems like the process is for good folks to pay their money up front for higher education, put the time, money, energy into "improving their lives" with such investments, and then get incredible treatment. Recent school district and teachers' union abitration decisions demonstrate how the little guy citizen worker of this state, just keeps paying and paying, while the greater entities get the money to play with, while the quality of family life goes down, each and every day.

    Our Lawmakers need to keep this in mind. Nevada typically tries to reinvent the wheel on things, and it would better serve them to look and truly consider models that WORK that are already in place in other states, before building a patchwork computer system that will have obsolence problems in short time. Treat the people who work these systems better as well. They keep these computer systems going.

    Blessings and Peace,

  4. A working computer system might mean CCSD could no longer claim ghost students for DSA funding--over claiming kids who moved away four years ago by "pre-enrolling" them year after year, pretending the students are here at the start of the year.