Nevada deserves better results from our tax dollars.
Properly educating our children is vital to Nevada’s prosperity and economic strength during this time of increasing competition from abroad. Sadly, Nevada ranks near the bottom in education metrics due to failed policies and the misallocation of funds.
Successful education should always start at the local and state level rather than the federal level. We need policies that give parents the freedom to determine their children’s education instead of being subject to federal government overreach.
Nevada has failed to adequately invest in education — particularly in higher education, trade schools, and apprenticeship programs.
Nevada struggles to build a skilled and educated workforce that responds to local and state employers’ needs and provides them with opportunities to stay here at home in Nevada.
According to CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business 2019 report, Nevada ranks:
48 out of 50 in the number of earned doctorates, compared to 24 in California.
44 out of 50 in the fields of Technology and Innovation.
48 out of 50 in workforce educational attainment in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.
50th out of 50 placing our young adults in the workforce after public school.
Nevada’s educational system requires more decisive leadership, strategic focus, planning, broad-based collaboration, and increased financial resources.
Nevada’s broken educational funding formula and recently proposed education budget cuts due to the coronavirus shutdown target lower-income and under performing students. “Read by Grade 3” is an example of a vital program on the chopping block.
The current, repeatedly failing formula makes these critical programs the first to go.
Introducing choice and competition into the classroom improves service, quality, and efficiency in the educational system.
School choice helps students in these programs and improves all student learning, and increases teacher salaries in public schools that embrace school choice.
The State of Florida is 4th in the nation in education and leads the nation in funding beyond the public school system. Almost half of Florida’s K-12 students participate in some form of school choice program, including 660 charter schools, 2,600 private schools, 579 career, and professional academies, 7,300 lab schools, and tax credits for lower-income students at over 1,825 private schools. Florida spends $9,400 per pupil, while Nevada spends almost $10,000.
The Nevada Legislature must properly fund Nevada’s Education Savings Account program
ESAs provide taxpayers significant tax savings and would provide Nevada parents almost $6,000 to spend on educational options, allowing all Nevadans – not just the wealthy – to service their children’s unique learning styles and needs. An ESA-supporting legislature provides the ability to make necessary cuts; and to remind you, over 75 percent of Nevada parents support ESAs.
States like Florida’s innovative programs provide parents of low-income or special-needs students with direct funding in the form of ESA and Nevada should follow suit.