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Public Comment

Public Comment: Joint Interim Standing Committee on Education

NSEA's June 15, 2022 Public Comment to the Joint Interim Standing Committee on Education
Public Comment Sept 2021
Published: 06/15/2022

Nevada classrooms continue to be some of the most overcrowded in the nation, and NSEA has long stressed the importance of smaller class sizes. Common sense tells us, and research confirms the number of students in a class makes a real difference for students and teachers alike. For students, smaller class sizes can help close the racial achievement gap, lead to earlier identification of learning disabilities, improve high school graduation rates, improve student behavior, and allow for more engagement in lessons. For educators, a smaller class size improves educator morale as it allows for more individual and differentiated instruction, less time on paperwork, and stronger classroom management as teachers become more aware of individual students’ strengths or weaknesses. This is critically important in Nevada with some of the highest concentrations of students who are English learners or struggling with poverty.

While rapid growth fueled Nevada’s large class sizes in previous decades, the lack of sufficient funding for school districts has locked these large class sizes in.

For decades, Nevada has ranked near the bottom of states in education funding and quality. Now with the additional challenges of the last two years, we have an unprecedented shortage of educators to teach our kids and make our schools run. CCSD lists nearly 2400 vacant positions, with over 1500 of those licensed.

Nevada needs bold action to address this crisis. It’s time to adequately fund public education in Nevada. It’s time to respect and retain our experienced educators. It’s Time for 20.

Time for 20 means reaching an average class size of 20 students in core academic subjects. Time for 20 also means a 20% increase in educator pay and at least $20/hour for the workers who make our school run. This is the right-sized response to our educator shortage and would get educators the pay they need to make ends meet. One-time retention or signing bonuses are a nice gesture, but as prices are climbing faster than at any point in the last 40 years with CPI now at 8.3%, we need to get serious about raises for educators that keep up with the long-term cost of living. Even when inflation comes down, prices and the cost of living usually continue to go up. Last week, the Economic Forum Educators and our students need bold action, and Nevada has the resources to make a big impact right now. It’s Time for 20!

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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.