2013 Legislative Resolutions

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Nevada Association of School Administrators
Legislative Resolutions
For the
2013 Legislative Session

Adminstrator Lobby Team

Lonnie Shields, NASA/CCASAPE          Steve Augspurger, CCASAPE
(p) 775-826-4147                                                        (p)702-796-9602
(f)775-826-4147                                                          (f) 702-796-9624
                              e-mail  lonnie.shields@yahoo.com                            e-mail  stephen.auspurger@ccasa.net

                     Ralph Cadwallader, NASA                                  Pam Hicks, CCASAPE                                       
   (p)702-233-6623                                                         (p) 702-796-9602
   (f) 702-233-5794                                                         (f) 702-796-9624
                       e-mail cadw11@earthlink.net                                   e-mail ccasa@interact.ccsd.net

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          (f) 

                                                                            

Nevada Association of School Administrators
Legislative Resolutions
2013 Legislative Session

      As members of the Nevada Association of School Administrators, NASA, we believe that Americans developed public schools to unify our nation and to provide for a common good.  Education has a role to assist in the preparation of all people to become responsible citizens, help improve social conditions, promote cultural unity and help people become economically self-sufficient.  We are concerned with current efforts to undermine the essential concept of public education and believe that the reasons for creating public schools are still valid.  We recognize the validity of private school education as an option.  We believe that decisions are best made at the lowest possible level and by those most affected by the decision.  We support the concept of “local control” and oppose the imposition of un-funded mandates.

      We support legislative initiatives that address the need to:  attract and maintain an appropriate workforce; increase instructional time for students; and increase educational opportunities for students.

 Finances

 1.  School Finances

      NASA believes that the public interest in the State of Nevada requires a level for public education that will provide for increased quality and quantity of educational services for students.  At minimum, public education in Nevada should be funded at a level above the national average. 

      NASA will work with recognized groups to support school finance legislation which will fully support public education in the State of Nevada.

 2.  Education For Students With Exceptional Needs

     NASA believes that it is in the best interest of society that each citizen is entitled to a free and appropriate education.  NASA will support legislation that will provide full funding for needed special education programs including “gifted and talented.”  NASA also supports full funding for those who qualify for services under Section 504.  

3.  Tuition-Free Summer School and/or Inter-session 

     NASA supports funding for implementing tuition-free or tuition-reduced summer school programs and/or inter-sessions, including transportation costs in all Nevada school districts.   

4.  Alternative Programs

     NASA supports full funding for alternative education programs for students who may not be able to function in a regular school setting, need additional opportunities to earn credits toward graduation or who may benefit from expanded offerings. 

5.  Guidance and Counseling 

     NASA supports full funding for comprehensive guidance and counseling programs (K-12) staffed by professionally trained counseling personnel at a ratio not to exceed  300-1.  The funding should not penalize districts that have already been providing counseling services in the elementary schools. 

6.  Funding for  Career and Technical  Education Programs

      NASA supports increased funding for career and technical education training programs. 

7.  State Support for School Construction 

     Nevada public schools need stable state funding for school construction and maintenance. 
     NASA supports broadening the state commitment for school construction and maintenance.

 8.  Stable Taxes

     NASA supports a revamping of the present tax structure to provide a stable form of taxation for educational funding.

 9.  Out-Of-State Placements 

     Out-of-state placements of students with special needs should continue to be a responsibility of the state, and appropriations should be sufficient to meet the anticipated costs 

 10.  Technology Aides 

     NASA supports legislation to provide funds to districts to assist schools with educational technology.  NASA believes that technology is a critical tool in delivering better instructional services and equity. 

     NASA supports legislation to provide funds to assist schools with needed technology specialists to help maintain equipment, provide staff development and provide assistance to teachers to ensure full implementation of the technology available. 

Educational and Instructional Concerns 

11.  Student Behavior and Discipline in the Schools

    NASA supports continued legislation to give increased authority to school districts to define codes of conduct and make provisions within the district for students who cannot function in the classroom in ways that allow teachers to teach and students to learn.

 12.  Compulsory Education 

     NASA believes that it is in the best interest of society that each citizen be educated to the maximum of his/her ability.  NASA opposes any effort to eliminate the compulsory age of attendance.

      NASA supports lowering the entry age of students at the elementary level and opposes lowering the exiting age for high school level students.

 13.  Hatch Act 

     NASA opposes any federal or state policies, regulations, or enforcement actions under the “Hatch Amendment” (section 1232 (h) of the General Education Provisions Act) which overturn local determination of: 

  1. a. what constitutes academic instruction;
  2. b. appropriate instructional materials;
  3. c. appropriate relationships between school personnel and students;
  4. d. the cultural, societal, or philosophical orientations presented in school materials or by school personnel; and
  5. e. the substantive policies and practices of local representative government  

14.  Class Size

     NASA supports full funding to allow reductions in class size, K-12.  Any state approved class size reduction plan shall be made available to all school districts desiring to implement such a plan. 

15.  Choice

      Educational “choice” to be accepted by NASA must be defined in its broadest sense as increasing the opportunities for all children to learn in ways that best meet their abilities and needs. 

A choice plan must:

 a.  require that all public and private schools accepting public funds are accountable to a
     recognized public agency and accept responsibility for meeting the needs of all  students; 

b.  require all public and private schools to follow the same mandates, including the 
     selection, admissions and retention of all students;

 c.  require all public and private schools to comply with state and federal legislation 
     including, but not limited to, those addressing special education and vocational education programs; 

d.  provide that choice school reflect the ethnic balance of the communities they serve;  and

 e.  ensure that all students have an equal opportunity for the choices offered without 
     discrimination on the basis of race, sex, socioeconomic status, handicapping 
      conditions, or academic ability.

 16.  Charter Schools 

NASA supports the concept of charter schools when they:

 a.      are accountable to local school boards of trustees, the Nevada Department of Education, or local universities;
 b.      are non-discriminatory;
 
c.      reimburse local school districts for expenses incurred in administering their programs or finances;  
 d.      comply with the same health and safety standards of school districts; 
 
e.      maintain their current level of funding.

      If a charter school that receives capital funds for school construction ceases to exist, all property and equipment so purchased shall revert to the local school district.

      If standards or mandates are waived for any charter schools in the state, the same waiver shall be made for all public schools within a two-year period or else the waiver for the charter school shall be rescinded.

 17.  School Site Decision Making

    NASA believes that decisions should generally be made at the lowest possible level and by those most affected by the decision.  NASA, however, is opposed to any legislation which mandates the implementation of specific school site decision making models for local school districts.

 18.  Year-round Education 

     NASA recognizes the educational, as well as, facility utilization advantages of year-round education.  NASA believes that the decision to implement or eliminate year-round education must remain with the local school district.

 19.  Assessment   

     NASA supports fair and equitable standardized assessment of student progress when:

 a.      results are used to assist students;
 
b.     alternative assessments are provided; and 
 c.      funding is provided for the development of a criterion reference assessment in the content areas.  This    
          assessment should be combined with any credit requirements for determining matriculation from eighth grade to 
          the high school level;
d.      testing does not result in an unreasonable loss of instructional time; and
e.       tests are administered such that all schools have an equal opportunity for success.

 20.  Second Language Program/English Language Learner Program

      NASA believes that second language programs should be transitional in nature with the goal that students should become proficient in the English language as soon as possible. 

     NASA will support a weighted formula within the Distributive School Formula to insure adequate funding for instructional staff and material for these programs. 

21.  Length of School Day/Year

      NASA recognizes that the education reform movement has resulted in increases in graduation requirements in academic areas.  NASA believes time must be added to the school day/school year and that appropriate funding must be forthcoming to pay for staff for increased time. 

Personnel

22.  Equity Within NRS 288

     NASA supports legislation to amend NRS 288:150 to ensure that administrators are provided the same collective bargaining rights as other school employee groups.

 23.  Probationary Periods

      NASA supports current  legislation covering probationary periods for administrators.

 24.  Professional Standards Commission Veto Authority 

    At present, the Nevada State Board of Education has “veto” authority over certain activities of the Professional Standards Commission.  NASA continues to support such veto authority. 

25.  Group Health Insurance for Retirees

     NASA supports eliminating the current state group health insurance plan and replacing it with a plan selected competitively by bid.

 26.  Health Insurance Premiums for Retired Educators

     NASA supports funding of a stipend to help educators retired under the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) with their health insurance premiums.

 Administrative

 27.  School Board Attorney Privileges 

     NASA believes a school board’s attorney should be permitted to give legal advice in executive sessions.  NASA will support legislation to permit this attorney-client privilege without violation the open meeting law.

 28.  Seat Belts on School Busses 

     Any state or federal legislation that mandates the installation of seat belts in school busses, shall be accompanied by sufficient funding to accomplish that mandate.

 29.  School District Reorganization 

     NASA will support district reorganization plans that:

a.       will improve educational opportunities for students;
b.      are equitable in terms of student, staff and taxpayers
c.       do not weaken efforts to provide a truly integrated education for all students;
d.      do not jeopardize the method of funding schools;
e.       do not result in unequal distribution of property wealth to generate school construction  
          funding; and
f.        are approved by a majority of school parents in the areas affected.        

 30.  Responsibility for Setting Standards 

     The State Legislature has duly and correctly conveyed to state and local elected school boards the responsibility to prescribe and ensure enforcement of courses of study for public schools.  NASA will oppose efforts by the State Legislature to usurp such responsibilities as they relate to the establishment and enforcement of courses of study and high school graduation requirements.

 31.  Adequate Administrative Personnel 

     NASA supports legislation that provides for sufficient administrative and support personnel at every school and within each district.

 32.  Regional Professional Development Centers 

     NASA supports the continued funding of the regional professional development centers that were established during the 1999 session to train teachers and administrators within the identified regions.  
      Continued sustainable professional development of all educators is vital.

 33.  Remedial Education

     NASA supports continued state financial support of approved remedial education programs for low-achieving schools.  NASA supports continued state funding for such programs in schools which have moved from the “in need of improvement” category to the “adequate” level of achievement for an additional year. 

     NASA also supports continued state financial support of approved remedial education or tutoring programs for pupils at any grade level and at any school who need additional instruction in order to reach a satisfactory level of proficiency.   Programs from this allocation must be conducted before or after school, on weekends, during the summer, or during intersessions in year-round calendars.  Funding should be forwarded to the districts in a timely manner.

 Additional Funding

  34.  Funding Equity

     NASA supports appropriate state funding for proven educational programs that will benefit all Nevada students, regardless of the designation of achievement their school of attendance has achieved.

      NASA supports legislation that would provide new or additional sources of revenue for all school districts in Nevada.

 35.  Full Day Kindergarten

     NASA supports the state funding of full day kindergarten.

 36.  Property Tax Initiatives

     NASA opposes any property tax initiative that is designed to place a cap on property taxes, similar to California’s “Proposition 13”.

 37.  Micro-management

     NASA opposes any legislation that results in the micro-management of school policy or schedule.       

 38.  Public Employees Retirement System

     NASA does not support any changes in the Public Employees Retirement System which will have a negative actuarial impact upon the overall health of the system.  Additionally, NASA does not support the utilization of the Public Employees Retirement System by individual groups or agencies to achieve objectives which will only benefit the group or agency.

                                                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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