- “NSEA is very disappointed with this proposal,” said Ruben Murillo, President of the Nevada State Education Association. “NSEA and other important education stakeholders have been shut out of this process since November. Senator Denis’ unwillingness to collaborate with educators on this important issue is evident in his proposed plan. To introduce this massive overhaul of the funding formula on the 99th day of Session is irresponsible and speaks to the poor process.”
Simply put, no new education funding plan will work without new and additional revenue. This plan simply moves money from one area of Nevada to another, creating new winners and losers. It is a misnomer to call this a “student-centered” plan when it takes from certain students to give to others.
This proposal would have a devastating impact on the rural areas of Nevada. The sponsors may refer to “hold harmless” provisions for the rural areas; however, it is nothing more than a freeze and squeeze of these areas starting in 2021 and continuing for a number of years depending on district and funding levels. Nevada needs a plan that helps all students, educators, and schools in every community. NSEA is also concerned about watering down Zoom and Victory schools, which have been proven effective. This plan would hurt the poorest students in the poorest neighborhoods who rely on those programs.
Meanwhile, the Charter School Authority would be one of the biggest beneficiaries of this new funding model, receiving an estimated $28 million in additional funds. Given all the problems with charter school accountability, this is unacceptable. In the last 20 years, charter schools have grown dramatically to include large numbers of charters that are privately managed, largely unaccountable, and not transparent as to their operations or performance. This growth has undermined local public schools and communities, without producing any overall increase in student learning and growth. Now, Senator Denis wants to reward that bad and unaccountable behavior with additional funding.
NSEA, as well as other stakeholders, would have enjoyed being a part of this process to help craft legislation that would help all students and educators in Nevada regardless of zip code. Senator Denis’ proposal misses the mark in several areas, and NSEA cannot support such a proposal.