Las Vegas Sun

August 17, 2019

Currently: 88° — Complete forecast


We continue to fail our children

Nevadans have been discussing education funding and smaller class sizes for decades because the state has failed to address those issues for decades. Political ideology and greed have motivated some powerful people and their minions to fight against the best interests of Nevada’s children and our state.

Good and reasonable people can disagree about how much it should cost to educate a student for a year (per-pupil funding).

One view is that Nevada spends enough or even too much on education. It says Nevada has increased the amount of money it spends on educating children over the years and yet schools do not get good enough results. In fact, this view claims Nevada’s schools are failing.

Of course, a lot has changed over the years: inflation, expensive technological advances, a rapidly growing population, explosive health care costs, and expensive unfunded legal mandates dealing with disabilities, among other things. It seems reasonable to expect that Nevada would need to increase funding to deal with increasing expenses.

Perhaps we should ask whether the spending increases kept up with increasing expenses.

A recent study found that Nevada spends 58 percent of what it should to educate its children. Many other studies have agreed that Nevada’s per-pupil funding is inadequate for providing a quality education.

Given that Nevada has the largest class sizes in the nation and spends less than 84 percent of the other states, any failure starts with Nevada’s adults.