51.7 F

Opinion: Sandoval still proposing laying off one in five teachers



roryreid-150x150-6676269-6412544After months of stalling, Brian Sandoval has finally released a “plan” to improve education in Nevada, although it earns an F. He hopes Nevadans will forget his previously announced agenda, which attempts to balance the state budget on the backs of our children by stealing money from classrooms and laying off one in five Nevada teachers.

More than 13 weeks after Rory Reid released his innovative EDGE plan for education, Sandoval released his own agenda to cut education and give up on the vast majority of Nevada students.

Sandoval’s “plan” takes funding away from schools that serve Nevada’s middle-class families and rural communities, delivering “extra funds” to only the very wealthiest areas and subsidizing private school vouchers–a proven failure in other communities.

By releasing this paper, Sandoval hopes to divert attention from previous statements. His previously announced short-term budget “plan” eliminates 20 percent of Nevada teachers from classrooms, leads to larger class sizes and further undermines a struggling education system that already ranks 51st in the nation.

Sandoval has not disavowed any of the proposals in his short-term budget plan.

Today’s paper further supports Sandoval’s agenda to cut education. Among its proposals:

— Taking money from middle-class and rural schools and delivering “extra funds” to only the very wealthiest and already successful areas. Sandoval has no plan to improve struggling schools.

— Under the guise of “school choice,” revisiting a stale, failed right-wing ploy: using vouchers to subsidize private schools at the expense of middle-class and rural Nevada families.

If elected in November, Brian Sandoval would only continue Jim Gibbons’ shameful legacy of taking money from our children’s classrooms and standing idly by while more than 58 percent of Nevada students drop out of school. He does not understand the fundamental link between education and the economy. He does not have a plan to improve Nevada’s failing education system.

Reid knows transforming our education system is essential to building a strong economy in Nevada. We need to attract dynamic new businesses to our state–but they won’t come if we do not have quality schools for children and the ability to educate the workforce needed for 21st century jobs.

That’s why Rory released his budget-neutral plan for education on March 22–more than three months before Brian Sandoval offered today’s half-baked attempt.

Rory’s EDGE plan is built around innovative ideas that have been proven effective in communities around the country. Sandoval’s agenda is built around failed right-wing policies that undermine public education and give up on the majority of Nevada children.

Among the proposals in “The Leading EDGE”:

— Giving responsibility to the schools. Principals should make decisions on how to use their resources, making them accountable for the success of their schools.

— Making sure standardized test scores aren’t the only measure of success. We need to measure how our educators do in improving student performance on an individual basis, over the course of the school year, instead of just looking at a snapshot of how our students are doing.

— Ensuring Nevada has world-class teachers in every classroom. We need to train, attract and retain the best teachers in the country.

— Providing a choice for parents. Parents should be able to choose where to send their kids to school.

— Ending classroom micromanagement by Carson City. We must streamline bureaucracy and give responsibility for Nevada classrooms to those with the expertise to do it: teachers and principals.

Rory Reid is the only candidate for governor to offer solutions for today and a plan for Nevada’s future success–supporting strong schools for a stronger economy. For more information about his campaign or to download his plans, visit Rory2010.com.

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NSHE announces Brian Sandoval as new UNR president

The Nevada System of Higher Education today announced former Nevada Governor and University of Nevada, Reno, alumnus Brian Sandoval as the institution’s new president.