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NSEA Public Comment: Commission on School Funding

Our comments to the Commission responding to remarks made by Senator Woodhouse and Senator Denis at the previous meeting.
Published: May 14, 2020

While NSEA appreciates that many things within your scope of work have drastically changed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic (and would direct you to the letter we sent on this topic last month), we also feel compelled to respond to remarks provided by Senators Woodhouse and Denis to the Commission on School Funding at your February 20th meeting.


In their remarks, Senators Woodhouse and Denis claim they spent months working with education stakeholders to develop SB543. As we have consistently communicated over the past year, nothing could be further from the truth. While NSEA was an active participant in the development of SB178 during the 79th Legislative Session and participated on the Funding Study Work Group during the last interim, NSEA and most other education stakeholders were shut out of the process to develop SB543 for over 6 months, from November through the first week of May. On May 6th, NSEA received an overview presentation of the bill from Jeremy Aguero. On May 13, the 99th day of the session, NSEA finally got our first chance to review the massive overhaul of Nevada’s school funding formula and the language in SB543. What was called “the most important legislation” of the session received a single hearing on May 31st. NSEA members turned out to that hearing and expressed numerous concerns with the legislation. The final language of SB543 wasn’t unveiled until late in the evening on Sine Die, with the legislation passing in the final hour. None of NSEA’s concerns, nor those of many other education stakeholders, were addressed in the amendments to the legislation. This legislative process was fundamentally flawed and resulted in a new funding plan riddled with problems. But don’t just take our word for it. Even legislators that voted in favor of SB543 did so with serious concerns and reservations. Here are just a few legislator responses when asked for comment on the legislative process that gave us SB543...

“a process that legislators and stakeholders felt was not sufficiently transparent and inclusive.”

“it had some language that I thought would be problematic in its implementation.”

“a more inclusive discussion of the bill would have been helpful.”

“I had (and still have) some serious concerns about the methodology that underlies the budget formula.”

"I had hoped for a more robust and inclusive conversation about SB 543 prior to the last days of session, understanding that this is a complicated policy to take on.”


Ensuring a High Quality Public Education For Every Student

NSEA has been the voice of educators for over 120 years. We represent teachers, education support professionals, and other licensed professionals throughout the state of Nevada.