LAS VEGAS – One of the hot-button issues in Nevada’s 2018 governor’s race is education, so the candidates have been outlining their proposals to try to get Nevada’s school rankings out of the cellar.
The four front-runners for governor have very different plans for funding and management of Nevada schools across the silver state.
On Wednesday, Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt unveiled his plan to some educators. He believes his plan is best for students.
“You see these reforms they involve trying to increase the ability of our students to be able to go into trades, opportunities for good jobs,” said Laxalt. “We want to work on increasing choice through Opportunity Scholarships, and expanding public charter schools.”
Laxalt praised the reforms Governor Brian Sandoval has put into place, and he says he wants to keep funding at or above current levels.
Laxalt also promised to never drop funding levels for public schools and to double the amount of money available for opportunity scholarships. He said he will also fund education savings accounts, which were passed in 2015, but have yet to be funded.
There are also merit rewards for teachers, which would double the amount they’re being reimbursed for out of pocket supply costs.
This plan will cost a chunk of additional money, so Laxalt was asked if he would keep Sandoval’s commerce tax, which provides a funding boost for education or if he will scrap it.
“I’m committed to keeping public education funding the way it is, Laxalt said. And certainly, if we have increased revenues, it’s something I’ll look to expand. Education’s a top priority of mine, and so naturally, if we have increased surplus, I’ll look to try to put that into education. The Commerce Tax is going to be easy to replace; it is 2.3 percent of our budget.”
So that leaves it open-ended.
Laxalt did say it would be easy to replace through a combination of revenue increases, the marijuana tax, and finding cost savings within the state budget.
The state Democratic party today lashed out at the plan, claiming Laxalt would gut the education budget.
They say Laxalt’s education plan gets an ‘F.’
The state and major school districts’ teachers unions also issued statements saying they don’t endorse the plan.
Politics NOW spoke with all four of the frontrunners in the governor’s race, and the top two from both major parties about their education plans, among other topics.
You can learn more at the Politic’s NOW section of the Las Vegas NOW website.