If you have a child enrolled in the Clark County School District, you are likely used to uncertainty with inevitable budget deficits, teacher shortages, burgeoning classroom sizes, and the blame game between the district, teachers unions and politicians. The threat of an illegal strike loomed until last week and we still do not know the details of the agreement.
Candidate Steve Sisolak promised that if he was elected he would fund education and address our low national rankings. State Legislators promised to make education a top priority. Despite their promises, the session closed in June with few solutions to these complex problems. Gov. Sisolak did not deliver on his promises.
Many argue that the root of the district’s problems is the lack of funding. Voters, however, have approved increased funding and are paying higher taxes for public education. In 2015, Gov. Brian Sandoval supported the largest tax increase in Nevada history, which was supposed to solve the budget crisis. In 2017, the school district announced an astonishing $60 million shortfall resulting in an increase in class sizes. In 2016, voters approved Ballot Question 2 legalizing recreational marijuana. Question 2 was sold to voters as a windfall for education. Recreational marijuana is legal, yet district coffers are strapped. In spite of increased funding over the last several years, serious problems persist.
Parents are fed up. Our kids are in the middle of this debacle and they are paying an enormous price. Parents are tired of waiting for the chronic problems to be fixed and are motivated to explore other educational opportunities. Unfortunately, there are not enough good options for families looking for alternatives. Some have taken advantage of charter schools or Opportunity Scholarships. Home-schooling is becoming more popular too.
Despite the demand for educational options, school choice remains controversial. School choice