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Opinion: Rory Reid dominates opponent in first debate



roryreid-150x150-2559975-3698308LAS VEGAS–Last night Brian Sandoval showed why he does not want to talk to Nevadans or debate Rory Reid. The Republican candidate proved in an hour-long debate broadcast statewide that he no real plans to reform education in Nevada.

Sandoval offered no reasonable explanation for the fact that he has proposed a Jim Gibbons-like $533 million in cuts to our already struggling schools. Instead he offered this gem: “I’m not going to question your math, Rory. This isn’t a math test, it’s about education.”

Gibbons, the currently failing Republican governor, has cut more than $300 million from Nevada’s education system and stood by idly as more than 60,000 Nevada high school students dropped out during the past three years.

Sandoval only offers more of the same drastic cuts, and he admitted as much repeatedly during the debate. His “plan” for education includes the following:

— Slashing teacher salaries by 20 percent or laying off more than 5,000 teachers.

— Raiding $110 million from class-size reduction programs, particularly targeting 7- and 8-year-olds.

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

— Cutting 12 percent of 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 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. That’s why he released his budget-neutral plan for education in March–and has stood behind it for months.

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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