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Opinion: Senate Republicans proud to stand up for education reform

By ThisIsReno

NV SENATE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS NEWS RELEASE

FALLON – On the day children around Nevada started their new academic year, the Republican members of the Nevada State Senate yesterday reaffirmed their commitment to reforming the state’s education system to improve the lives of all Nevadans and help ensure a better future for the state.

The 2011 session of the Nevada Legislature included the passage of significant reforms to the educational infrastructure, particularly the burdensome personnel system that rewards longevity over success for teachers and administrators. The passage of Assembly Bills 225 and 229 will ensure the adults in the education system are evaluated and retained based on their primary mission: educating Nevada’s children.

“These bills will help accomplish what we all want, a system that works in the best interests of the students,” said Senate Minority Leader Mike McGinness, R-Fallon. “For the first time we will be able to evaluate the adults based on the success of their students, from first-year teachers to principals.”

Also critical to reforming the state’s education system was Senate Bill 197, which adds significant accountability to the Nevada Department of Education through greater gubernatorial authority over the superintendent of public instruction, as well as the State Board of Education.

“The Republican Senate Caucus voted unanimously in support of these three key education reform bills,” McGinness said. “While we know that these changes won’t turn around education overnight, they lay the critical groundwork for a strong educational infrastructure moving forward. They will also ensure that when we have greater resources to invest in education, they will be spent in the best interest of the students.”

While education reform has received bipartisan support both in Nevada and around the country, the statewide teachers union yesterday released its 2011 Legislative Report Card, giving all Senate Republicans an “F” based on supporting these reforms and refusing to support a $1.2 billion tax increase to maintain union wages and benefits.

As the teachers union continues to frame the education debate about what’s best for the adults, Senate Republicans remain committed to asking what is in the best interest of those who are most affected, the students.

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