LIFE January 28, 2013

Nevada Legislature Building.jpg                                                             NASA logo smal.bmp

 

 LIFE

 

    Legislative Information for Educators 
             Volume 1                                                                                 Legislative Session 2013

 

GOOD NEWS-BAD NEWS

The tone of Governor Sandoval’s State of the State address on the 16th was markedly different from the one delivered two years ago. The calls for cuts to human services and education were not there this time around. In their place was the Governor’s vision for the state to move forward over the next two years.

We would like to join with the Governor in honoring the two legislative leaders that passed away during this past year. Senator William Raggio and Assemblywoman Gene Segerblom.

The governor’s proposed budget is for $6.5 billion. A large portion of his speech was dedicated to Education. He has proposed the following:
     1. Increased funding for early education in the state’s at-risk schools for full day kindergarten programs in the state’s most at-  
         risk schools. Twenty million dollars over the next biennium would be allocated for this purpose.                                 
     2. He called for all students to be able to read by the third grade and recognized that the research shows that full day 
         kinderergarten is a critical foundation for a child’s success. 
     3. The Governor called for further investment in the TEACH for America program. He proposed a new investment in this program
         for it to expand but did not mention a specific amount. Several education groups question the validity of this program as the
         teachers involved are likely to serve the state the required portion of time and then leave for greener pastures.
     4. He also called for an expansion of the JOBS for AMERICA’S GRADUATES. It has been piloted in seven schools in Nevada.  
         The Governor would expand this to 50 additional high schools by 2014. No mention was made of the allocation that would be
         necessary to carry this to completion. 
     5. He proposed 14 million dollars for an English Language Learners Initiative. This would be a relative drop in the bucket to the
         funding needed for a successful statewide initiative. It has been estimated that such a program would cost a minimum of $75 
         million. 
     6. The governor also reiterated his support of vouchers, with the statement; “I will continue to fight for school choice.”
     7. Shades of Governor Gibbons flashed through my mind when Governor Sandoval proposed a business tax credit for making 
         contributions to a scholarship fund.
     8. In all the budget calls for an increase in spending of 135 million dollars in k-12 education.

      Governor Sandoval stated he would not sign any bill that called for new taxes and yet the question remains. His budget calls for
      expenditures of 6.5 billion and the Economic Forum has come out with the figure of 5.8 billion. Where will the additional funding
      be found?
      We will examine the Democratic response and Democratic proposals for the session in the next LIFE.

 If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at 775-741-0036 or a Lonnie.shields@yahoo.com.