Legislative “Cheat Sheet”
Bills to Watch and Ways to Get Involved this Legislative Session
Aligned with our legislative priorities, we have detailed some important bills to watch and ways to participate in the process.
ENN aims to support bills that provide additional funding and resources for Nevada’s K-12 public schools, work to solve our teacher recruitment and retention crisis, promote equity and accountability in our schools, and avoid diverting critical resources to unaccountable and discriminatory programs.
To stay on top of these and other bills visit the Nevada Legislature’s website and sign up to TRACK bills here. You can track bills that you are interested in by clicking the “Click to Track” button in the upper righthand corner of the page when viewing a bill. You must be signed in for the button to appear. By tracking a bill, you will be emailed regular updates on when the bill will be discussed by lawmakers, so you can testify by calling, writing, or showing up in person.
BILLS ALIGNED WITH OUR LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
Additional Resources & Equity for K-12 Public Schools
SB 144 – SUPPORT – Did Not Pass
This bill, sponsored by Senator Lange and several bipartisan co-sponsors, aims to improve resources, and thus access, to career and technical education programs (CTE) throughout the state. The bill would set aside $20 million in tax credits for businesses that choose to make donations to CTE programs in public or charter schools. ENN helped develop this bill, which has been adopted as a priority by the Southern Nevada Forum. We SUPPORT this bill because it encourages industries to take a more active role in workforce development, while students learn valuable skills to prepare them for the 21st-Century economy.
SB 231 – SUPPORT- Passed
This bill, sponsored by Senator Cannizzaro and several co-sponsors, allocates $250 million to support salary increases for Nevada’s licensed educators and paraprofessionals. Funds would be allocated by the Interim Finance committee to districts under the condition that the funds will supplement, rather than supplant, currently bargained salary increases. Nevada has some of the largest class sizes in the country and has difficulty competing with other states that are trying to fill their teacher vacancies.Additionally we have some of the largest student to counselor ratios at 1:500. We SUPPORT this bill because Nevada educators deserve just compensation and we desperately need quality teachers and licensed staff to stay and thrive in our state.
SB 100 – SUPPORT – Did Not Pass
This bill, sponsored by Senator Goicoechea, makes a $60 million allocation to White Pine County School District to support school construction. Due to its small population and lack of state funding from school facilities, White Pine County students find themselves in one of the oldest schools in the state (and the country). At over 100-years-old, Norman Elementary School and White Pine Middle School have crippling issues that make the schools unsafe and not conducive to learning. Parts of the schools are decaying, and at risk of catastrophic failure. Though many school buildings in Nevada need refurbishment, with an asbestos problem, no elevators to support disabled students and fragile flooring, this school could eventually cause serious harm to students. We SUPPORT this bill because these schools are in crisis with no way out unless our state takes action. Nevada students deserve better, no matter where they are.
AB 323 – SUPPORT – Did Not Pass
This bill, Sponsored by Assem. Torres and several co-sponsors, aims to address various barriers to teacher recruitment and retention in a variety of ways. It requires the State Superintendent to develop a strategic plan to address teacher recruitment and retention, removes barriers for educators licensing, financially incentivizes student educators, counselors, and librarian trainees working in our schools, and makes permanent a program that provides stipend and tuition assistance for students in teacher preparation programs. We SUPPORT this bill because Nevada must foster ways to recruit and retain educators and other personnel in our schools.
AB 347 – SUPPORT – Did Not Pass
This bill, sponsored by Assem. Torres, provides a 15 million allocation for dual credit programs. These programs allow students to begin earning college credits while still in high school. ENN SUPPORTS this bill because dual-credit enrollment supports college and career readiness for Nevada students.
SB 339 – SUPPORT – Passed
Sponsored by Sen. Dondero Loop and others, this bill provides a stipend for teachers that purchase certain school supplies for their classroom. Educators often spend their own money to support their students’ learning. We SUPPORT this bill because teachers should not have to shoulder the burden of purchasing basic school supplies for their classrooms.
AB207 – SUPPORT – Passed
Sponsored by Assemblywoman Gonzalez and Assemblyman Nguyen, this bill authorizes the board of trustees of a school district or the governing body of a charter school to obtain liability insurance against liability arising out of the participation of a pupil in a work-based learning program and it prohibits directly or indirectly charging a pupil or the parent or legal guardian of a pupil for the cost of such insurance coverage. This bill addresses a huge barrier to work-learning programs for students and promotes workforce learning.
AB 241 – SUPPORT – Passed
Sponsored by Assem. Mosca, this bill would put every student on track to receive a College and Career Readiness diploma. This means students will receive courses geared toward career training, work-based learning, or college preparation. Many vulnerable student populations are often not encouraged or even aware of these valuable courses. This bill allows students to opt-out if they choose, but otherwise creates more equity for these college and career ready courses. ENN SUPPORTS this bill because all students deserve to be set up for success after high school. Read our testimony here.
AB282 – SUPPORT – Did Not Pass (Vetoed)
Sponsored by Assemblywoman Summers-Armstrong and Marzola, this bill requires school districts to provide long-term substitutes with a subsidy to purchase health insurance provided they show proof of insurance purchase. ENN SUPPORTS this bill because it will help maintain stability among substitutes in classrooms that already face a lot of uncertainty. Read Our Testimony
Increasing Accountability in Our Schools
AB 399 – SUPPORT – Passed
This bill, sponsored by Assem. Yeager, creates a Subcommittee of Education Accountability as part of the Interim Finance Committee. It would consist of lawmakers from the Senate and Assembly meeting to “discuss, evaluate and make recommendations relating to accountability in public education in this State in order to improve the educational achievements and outcomes for pupils.” The subcommittee can examine fiscal activities, district and school level decisions and policies, sufficiency in funding, among other important areas that impact whether our students are receiving the resources they need to succeed. We SUPPORT this bill because we agree that investments in education should be spent wisely, and lawmakers taking a greater role in understanding and evaluating K-12 finance and expenditures will ultimately improve our education system. Read our testimony here.
AB 395 – SUPPORT – Did Not Pass
Sponsored by Assem. Miller, this bill creates a committee, consisting of a wide variety of members, to oversee, examine, make recommendations related to state, local and federal school spending. The bill identifies the committee’s focus on salaries, student mental health, school safety, special programs, staff training for implicit bias and cultural competencies, and any other area identified by the committee. ENN SUPPORTS this bill because our communities and leaders should play an active role in understanding and influencing decisions on K-12 resources.
AB 149 – SUPPORT – Did Not Pass
Sponsored by Assem. Miller and Anderson, this bill creates an Office of the Inspector General for Education to handle complaints regarding fraud and misuse of funds by entities that receive public education funds, such as school districts and charter schools. It also protects whistleblowers that may come forward to report issues. We SUPPORT this bill because confidence in the use of public education funding is critical to building trust.
BILLS TO OPPOSE
AB 400 – OPPOSE – Passed – Amended to NOT include increase for private school vouchers.
Introduced on behalf of the Office of the Governor, AB 400 is an omnibus education bill that makes various troubling changes. This bill greatly expands Nevada’s controversial private school voucher scheme in Nevada by 1) changing the income eligibility threshold to an amount that no longer serves families close to poverty (a household of four making up to $150,000 per year would get public tax dollars for private school); 2) increases the total amount a voucher recipient receives; and 3) greatly increases the total tax dollars spent on the program. The bill would also unconstitutionally siphon away funds dedicated to public education back into the State General Fund. ENN strongly opposes AB 400 because public dollars should stay in public schools, and they should not go to unaccountable and discriminatory private schools. Further, funds dedicated to public education must stay with public education. Read our testimony here.
AB 459 – OPPOSE – Did Not Pass
Brought on behalf of the Governor’s office, this bill would eliminate the Governor’s requirement to increase what the state contributes to education by inflation or a rate proportional to economic growth. Even though current law already permits flexibility in this requirement, the fundamental purpose of this requirement was to express an intent to grow the education budget and promote transparency around K-12 funding. It intended to end a long history of using increases to new or increasing education-dedicated revenue to simply SUPPLANT the states contribution to the education budget. Learn more about Nevada’s sad history of supplanting vs. supplementing here. TThis requirement was one of the bright spots of the new school funding formula, and the Governor aims to undo it before it even begins. We STRONGLY OPPOSE AB 459 because the state budget should not be balanced on the backs of our kids.
Expanding Private School Vouchers
ENN opposes any bill that seeks to expand controversial private school vouchers. These schemes go by various names, “Choice Scholarships,” “Opportunity Scholarships” or “Education Savings Accounts.” Regardless of their name, voucher measures rely on taxpayer dollars but have little to no accountability, and they permit schools to discriminate for almost any reason (religion or lack thereof, LGBTQ status, inability to pay, student needs or outcomes). In other states that closely track student outcomes, voucher students often perform the same or worse than their public school peers. We OPPOSE any effort to expand access or spend taxpayer funds on these harmful programs because public dollars should go to public schools.
We urge you to speak up and OPPOSE:
AB 385 – (Assem. Hafen) Allocates $60 million to private school vouchers and expands eligibility. Opposed – Did Not Pass
SB 200 – (Sen. Hammond) Re-enacts a recently repealed universal voucher program, which would eventually result in every private school student eligible for taxpayer dollars, even the wealthiest. Opposed – Did Not Pass
SB 220 (Sen. Gansert, et al) Expanding funding and eligibility for private school vouchers, expanding the tax credit sources. Opposed – Did Not pass
Bills To Watch
The following bills do not necessarily fall within our legislative priorities but are important to watch due to their impact on our K-12 public schools.
AB42 – Did Not Pass
Sponsored by the Assembly Committee on Education, this bill increases the mandatory class size ratio (CSR) in grades K-3 but also creates a mandatory class size ratio in English Language Arts and Mathematics for grades 4-12.
AB72 – Passed
Sponsored by the Assembly Committee on Education this bill creates the Advisory Committee on the Safety and Well-being of Teachers and requires the committee to review, investigate and make recommendations concerning any issue relating to the safety and well-being of teachers, including provisions of law or regulations that affect the safety and well-being of teachers and the consistent implementation of discipline of pupils.
AB335– Did Not Pass
Sponsored by Assemblywoman Miler and Ru Hatch, this bill reduces class size ratio mandates in grades K-3, establishes a ratio for grades 4-5 and applies class class size ratios for grades 6-12 in core subjects. If class size ratio requirements are not met teachers must be compensated according to an amount prescribed in the collective bargaining agreement.
SB56 – Did Not Pass
Sponsored by the Senate Committee on Education, this bill creates the Commission on School Modernization requiring the Commission to conduct a study and make recommendations regarding revisions to the Nevada Revised Statutes and Nevada Administrative Code to improve the efficiency and quality of education in this State.
SB236– Did Not Pass
Sponsored by Senators Krasner and Lange this bill makes an appropriation to the Nevada Center for Civic Engagement to support civics education programs in Nevada’s elementary, junior high, middle and high schools.
The following bills make suggestions to the makeup of the Board of Trustees for school districts and/or their meeting processes.
Sponsored by the Assembly Committee on Government Affairs this bill restricting the time of day during which the board of trustees of a school district may take action or corrective action at a regular or special meeting; authorizing, under certain circumstances, the board of trustees to restrict certain public comment at a regular or special meeting.
SB64 – Did Not Pass
Sponsored by the Senate Committee on Education, this bill adds certain appointed members to the board of trustees of a county school district; providing that a certain appointed member serves as the president of the board of trustees; requiring the Legislative Auditor to audit school districts.
SB65 – Did Not Pass
Sponsored by the Senate Committee on Education, this bill requires a candidate for the office of trustee of a school district to obtain and file certain certifications; revising provisions governing certain training for professional development required for the members of boards of trustees of school districts and candidates for the office of trustee of a school district.
AB175 – Passed
Sponsored by Assemblyman Yurek and Assemblywoman Bilbray-Axelrod this bill revises provisions governing the election and appointment of members of the board of trustees of certain school districts.
As the session moves along, ENN will be identifying other bills that we believe are worth supporting, opposing, or monitoring. Please check back regularly for more information and updates.
Do you care about a bill being heard? Want to give your opinion on a proposed budget? Have an important perspective on a policy proposal? Don’t forget to contact your legislator. Find out you represents you here. They want to hear from you and our students are worth it.