The state of Nevada was recently ranked 50th for education by the Education Week, “Quality Counts 2018” report. Nevada has trailed towards the bottom for several years. The 2018 Kids Count Report recently ranked Nevada 47th overall for a child’s well-being and we have the largest student-to-teacher ratio in the nation. A recent funding study found that Nevada only funds its schools at 58 percent of what it needed to be fully adequate. Did you know Nevada ranks 48th in funding K-12 schools? The Education Law Center “National Report Card” awarded Nevada an “F” in education funding distribution and fiscal effort. The ELC also gave Nevada a failing grade for fiscal effort, measured as the proportion of the state’s economic productivity that is invested in public education.
The goal of Educate Nevada Now is to ensure that every Nevada public school student has access to an adequate and quality education. To ensure this happens ENN has made it a priority to advocate for additional funding and proper use of financial resources.
Nevada has one of the most underfunded,regressive, and oldest school funding formulas in the country. The state’s funding formula, the Nevada Plan, has remained largely the same since its creation in 1967. Unlike modern funding formulas across the country, the formula bears no relationship to the actual cost of educating students. It ignores the changing standards and expectation of our students, the increasing state and federal mandates placed on our schools and districts, our diversifying economy, and the seismic changes in our demographics. Instead, the Nevada Plan uses “historical expenditures” to determine funding levels. This means that as costs, mandates, and expectations increase, the formula assumes what was spent before will be enough. Given the Nevada of 1967 is not the Nevada of today, it is easy to see how public school funding has deteriorated over time.
Educate Nevada Now is a founding member of the Fund Our Future Nevada coalition made up of parent, student, teacher and education partners determined to ensure Nevada public schools have sufficient funds to provide all the appropriate and necessary resources students need to succeed.
ENN partnered with a legal team to successfully stop the controversial ESA voucher program, winning at the Nevada Supreme Court on behalf of a group of parents in Lopez v. Schwartz. As part of the #PublicMoneyPublicSchools coalition, ENN helped ensure that Nevada did not dedicate revenue for private school vouchers during the 2017 legislative session.