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Legislative Positions

Memo: NSEA Seeks Amendment to SB503

NSEA is seeking an amendment to SB503 to increase the State Education Fund by $500M.
SB503 Amend
Published: May 23, 2023

Last week, nearly 1000 educators and supporters rallied in front of the legislature, umbrellas in hand, to say It’s a Rainy Day in Nevada, and so it’s Time for 20, meaning a 20% raise for every Nevada educator, starting pay of $20/hour, and average class sizes of 20 students.

Certainly, Nevada’s strong economy and record revenue is welcome news, but it’s still a rainy day for Nevada schools. Nevada ranks 48th in education funding, even behind Mississippi. And everyone knows Nevada has the largest class sizes in the nation. The crisis of educator vacancies has reached a tipping point. In the last two years, Nevada will lose more than 15% of our teaching workforce. Nevada also has a serious problem with vacancies in classified positions, meaning we are short people who make our schools run. Nevada’s severe educator shortage threatens the basic function of our school system. It’s a rainy day for Nevada schools.

SB503 increases the education budget by 26% over this biennium and $318 million more than the Governor’s recommendation. While that is certainly promising, this is blunted by minimal increases in previous years that also had record inflation – eating away most of the proposed increases.

Along with this, the Education Stabilization Account cap would be raised from 15% to 20%, which would stash away an additional $322 million by the end of the biennium, meaning the legislature adjusted Gov Rec with a larger increase for reserves than our schools. It turns out the biggest beneficiary of additional funding are charters, with a 41% increase in the biennium worth over $400M. On the other side of the ledger, Storey County will lose 5% of its total budget. Sadly, the rising tide will not lift all boats.

When combining the Education Stabilization Account with the state’s Rainy Day Fund, reserves could approach nearly $3 billion next biennium, 7 times the state’s previous high of $401 million! NSEA believes it is fiscally irresponsible to underfund education and over-inflate reserves, when we can’t retain educators or fill their positions when they leave.

girl with umbrella

Throughout this session, you’ve heard from a parade of educators about the hardships of working in education with low pay and increasingly stressful working conditions, and last week educators showed up with the thunder and lightning. We implore you to amend SB503 to redirect monies from rainy day reserves to fund Time for 20. It’s a rainy day for Nevada schools.

It's a Rainy Day In Nevada

On May 17, 2023, nearly 1000 educators showed up in Carson City, NV to say "It's a rainy day for Nevada's kids!" We can and should fund #TimeFor20 from the state level for our educators. With nearly $3 billion in rainy day reserves, we have the money and the Legislature should redirect an additional $500 million to fund Time For 20.

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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.