Nevada LegislatureSocial Justice

New Study, Same Old Problem: A Look Inside Nevada Schools’ Achievement Gap

Today, local children’s advocates released a new study that points to alarming inequities across our public infrastructure, including K-12 education. Though overall student achievement remains a major problem, it’s even more severe in communities of color. Why are students of color at a disadvantage, and what can be done about it? We look deeper into the numbers to find answers. (more…)

Nevada LegislatureSocial Justice

“Big Things Don’t Run Well”: A Conversation with NPRI President John Tsarpalas on Education and the State Budget

We recently had the opportunity to speak with John Tsarpalas, the new President of the Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI). For 27 years, NPRI has been a major force to advance conservative ideas in the Silver State. But in recent years, NPRI found itself on the losing side in major battles on tax reform and school vouchers. Tsarpalas explained to us how NPRI is moving on, despite these recent setbacks. (more…)

Nevada LegislatureSocial Justice

Veterans and Legislators Condemn Republican Budget Blockade

Following hard-line Republican grandstanding Thursday during Senate votes on critical budget bills, Democratic legislators and veterans’ advocates gathered to rebuke the minority party’s tactics. They asked why Republican legislators not only walked out, but then voted against funding for everything from K-12 public schools to a long awaited military veterans’ home. (more…)

Nevada LegislatureSocial Justice

Republican Walkout Triggers Budget Showdown in Final Days of Legislative Session

The Nevada Legislature was supposed to move forward with the one big tax proposal of this session. Instead, the marijuana excise tax Governor Brian Sandoval (R) proposed was defeated by the Senators from his own party. As a result, the public education budget, including vouchers, is undergoing major changes. The marijuana excise tax was the highlight of Sandoval’s State of the State address. And yet, Senate Republicans vote against Sandoval’s marijuana tax. Why did they? And what happens now? (more…)

Nevada LegislatureSocial Justice

Who’s Vouching for What? The Jury’s Out on ESA Vouchers.

In June 2015 Governor Brian Sandoval (R) signed SB 302 into law, establishing the ESA voucher program. Yet within weeks, the program was hit with a court ordered injunction. Since then, the voucher program has been in a legal coma. As Governor Sandoval pushes to revive vouchers, opponents are reminding the Nevada Legislature why they sued in the first place. Today, we speak with those most deeply involved in Lopez v. Schwartz on why they sued and why they oppose…

Nevada LegislatureSocial Justice

Who’s Vouching for What: Governor’s ESA Voucher Bill Gets Heard at Nevada Legislature

For weeks, Governor Brian Sandoval (R) and Nevada Legislature Democratic leaders have sparred over funding his controversial voucher program, Education Savings Accounts. Then, at 3:00 PM yesterday, the two budget committees announced a joint hearing on Sandoval’s voucher bill. Why did this hearing happen, and how might the Legislature reshape this voucher program? We dig deeper below. (more…)

Nevada LegislatureSocial Justice

Who’s Vouching for What: Where Would ESA Voucher Money Go?

Who would truly benefit from ESA school vouchers? Where would ESA voucher money go? How would that money be spent? And why would these publicly supported private schools get to play by different set of standards than public schools? As we reexamine how the school voucher program arrived in Nevada, let’s also dig deeper into one of the private schools that’s seeking ESA voucher funds. (more…)

Nevada LegislatureSocial Justice

Who’s Vouching for What? School Funding at Center of #NVLeg “End Game”

As the Nevada Legislature races towards Sine Die, the budget is once again front and center, specifically K-12 school funding. Is there extra money to boost public education funding? Or will that money be used to correct the currently unconstitutional funding mechanism for Adam Laxalt and Brian Sandoval’s school voucher scheme or Education Savings Accounts? We dig deeper into the education budget below. (more…)