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Opinion: Sandoval to release another education ‘plan’



roryreid-150x150-3589350-5446928LAS VEGAS–More than three months after Rory Reid introduced his innovative EDGE plan for education, his opponent has announced he will soon release a “plan” that will undoubtedly be a combination of Reid’s ideas and old Republican talking points.

Brian Sandoval wants to run from his previous “plan” and hopes everyone forgets that he has already said, repeatedly, what he would do for our struggling education system. His short-term budget “plan”–which actually would have only covered about half of the shortfall–would balance the state budget on the backs of our children:

— Brian Sandoval wants to slash teacher salaries by 20 percent or lay off more than 5,000 teachers.

— Brian Sandoval wants to divert $110 million from class-size reduction programs, particularly targeting 7- and 8-year-olds.

— Brian Sandoval wants to start a voucher program that would drain millions from our public schools and wouldn’t even begin to cover tuition for the average private school.

— Brian Sandoval wants a 12 percent cut to faculty and staff at our colleges and universities–that’s more than 750 professor and staff jobs lost.

If elected in November, Sandoval will continue Jim Gibbons’ shameful legacy of taking money from our children’s classrooms to supplement the state budget. Sandoval does not consider education a priority. Sandoval does not understand the simple fact that we will never get out of this economic slump and draw new industry until we have good schools.

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 Reid released his budget-neutral plan for education on March 22. The plan was praised by both Democratic and Republican leaders.

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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