Current Articles

  • Education leaders, advocates offer mixed reaction to proposed school funding formula during first hearing

    May 22, 2019 | The Nevada Independent | Michelle Rindels, Jackie Valley

    An initial hearing for SB543, the legislation that would revamp Nevada’s school funding formula, drew technical concerns from lawmakers and fractured support among rural and urban superintendents.

    The nearly seven-hour joint meeting of the Senate Committee on Finance and the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means stretched well into Tuesday night. It began with a detailed presentation from economic analyst Jeremy Aguero, who helped craft the proposed student-centered funding model, and ended with hours of testimony from school administrators, union leaders, education advocates, city employees and business representatives.

    The new formula, which would be phased in over two years, would transform how education money is distributed throughout the state. It would include base per-pupil funding as well as weights — extra dollars funneled to serve students who are learning English as a second language, living in low-income households, have a disability or are gifted and talented.

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  • Legislators hold first hearing on new education funding plan

    May 22, 2019 | Las Vegas Sun | John Sadler

    CARSON CITY — One of the largest bills this legislative session — a complete overhaul of the state’s K-12 funding system, was heard by committee for the first time Tuesday evening.

    Sen. Joyce Woodhouse, D-Henderson and chief majority whip, introduced the legislation — Senate Bill 543 — to the Senate Committee on Finance, stating that the change in population and demographics since the implementation of the Nevada Plan — the name for the state’s 52-year-old funding formula — means a new system is required.

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  • More Las Vegas small businesses sell for more cash

    May 21, 2019 | Las Vegas Business Press | Buck Wargo

    In a sign of a strong economy, more Las Vegas small business owners are selling their companies and fetching a much higher sales price than they were a year ago, according to a new report.

    Bob House, president of California-based BizBuySell, which has a platform that allows business brokers to list companies for sale, said it’s a reflection of baby boomers and older business owners taking advantage of the recovery in the economy since theGreat Recession in Las Vegas and across the country.

    “What’s happened the last few years is (that) these businesses have been performing better, and the economy has been strong, and revenue and cash flow are inching up,” House said. “A lot of baby boomers out there are reaching retirement age and are exiting their business for retirement. They’re looking to cash out now when it’s favorable.

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  • Nevada Legislature gets first look at new schools funding plan

    May 21, 2019 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Colton Lochhead, Bill Dentzer

    CARSON CITY — Lawmakers got a full rundown of the proposed overhaul to the state’s 52-year-old formula for funding K-12 education in the state.

    The proposal comes via Senate Bill 543, called the Pupil-Centered Funding Plan, which was unveiled last week and calls for a complete rewrite of the state’s current funding formula, which was put in place in 1967.

    The new formula establishes a “base funding amount” for all of Nevada’s nearly 450,000 K-12 students, though what that number will be has not been determined.

    It would collect dozens of funding streams for education into one account, making it easier to dole out to various school districts and track. Also, it would create a special formula that gives extra money to kids in special education or gifted and talented programs, those at or near the poverty level, or those who are learning English, no matter which school they attend.

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  • Nevada school funding plan finally unveiled

    May 13, 2019 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Colton Lochhead, Bill Dentzer

    CARSON CITY — Senate Democrats on Monday unveiled their long-awaited proposal to revamp the state’s decades-old formula to fund education in Nevada, presenting a plan that would go into effect in two years and aims to hold all districts harmless from potential funding cuts.

    The bill, which Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, has been working on for more than a year, is expected to replace the 52-year-old Nevada Plan, which has been panned as antiquated for its continued reliance on the previous year’s statistics for future funding.

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  • Lawmakers roll out long-awaited plan to rework, simplify education funding formula

    May 13, 2019 | The Nevada Independent | Michelle Rindels, Jackie Valley, Megan Messerly

    With three weeks left in the legislative session, Democratic state senators have unveiled a much-anticipated plan to overhaul Nevada’s 52-year-old public education funding formula — a move that the bill’s sponsor says will help Nevada children “stand toe-to-toe with students from any state in the nation.”

    The introduction of the legislation marks lawmakers’ most dramatic step yet toward revamping the complicated formula that operates like a seesaw, with state funding to districts decreasing as local funding increases. The existing system has been widely panned as an inadequate model that focuses too much on sparsity vs. density and doesn’t take into account the needs of today’s highly diverse student body.

    Members of the Nevada Senate Democratic Caucus outlined the bill on Monday, after it was formally introduced on the Senate floor and dubbed SB543. It’s expected to come up for its first hearing next week before a joint Senate and Assembly budget committee meeting.

    “After many years of work, we are so proud to unveil this new plan to modernize and overhaul Nevada’s outdated education funding formula,” said Democratic Sen. Mo Denis, a bill sponsor. “With the input with this implementation of the Nevada State Education Fund, our schools will be better equipped to provide our students with a world-class education that prepares them for 21st century jobs.”

    At a press conference, economic analyst Jeremy Aguero, who crafted the bill and has previously worked on other major projects such as designing the Commerce Tax, briefed reporters on its major features.

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  • Nevada bill introduced to overhaul school funding formula

    May 13, 2019 | 13 Action News | Associated Press

    CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Senate Democrats rolled out a bill Monday that aims to overhaul how Nevada allocates education funding, prompting one teachers group to level sharp criticism and argue the proposal would be devastating to the state's rural areas.

    Lawmakers said they want to revamp the school funding process for certain children who need extra support, such as students who are learning English or receive free or reduced-price meals. Democrats in both legislative chambers have identified the effort as a session priority.

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  • Bill still under wraps, but details emerging about proposed school funding formula overhaul

    May 10, 2019 | The Nevada Independent | Jackie Valley, Michelle Rindels

    Select education, business and political leaders who attended private briefings this week about the long-awaited bill to modernize the state’s K-12 funding formula had mixed reactions about the plan, with some saying it looks promising and others going so far as to suggest it would be “devastating” to some rural school districts.

    The bill has not been unveiled publicly and reporters were not allowed to attend briefings or review the PowerPoint presentations; Democratic bill sponsor and Sen. Mo Denis said again Thursday that the bill would be coming “any day now.” But analyst Jeremy Aguero, who has been crafting the funding formula overhaul, discussed key concepts during invitation-only meetings over the past week.

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  • Homebuilders post sharp drop in first-quarter sales in Summerlin

    May 10, 2019 | Las Vegas Review-Journal | Eli Segall

    Homebuilders’ sales totals dipped throughout Southern Nevada early this year. But according to a report this week, buyer activity fell particularly hard in a normally hot spot for house construction: Summerlin.

    Builders sold 302 homes in Las Vegas’ largest master-planned community in the first quarter, down 26 percent from the same period last year, Summerlin developer Howard Hughes Corp. disclosed this week.

    The report indicates, but doesn’t explicitly state, that the figures represent new sales contracts, not closings.

    Overall, builders closed nearly 2,300 sales in the first quarter in the Las Vegas area, down 4.6 percent from the same period in 2018, according to Home Builders Research.

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  • STUDY: Families living in lower-income neighborhoods don't feel they have access to quality education

    April 09, 2019 | 13 Action News | Dayna Roselli

    LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Good teachers, competitive schools, high quality education. Three things on any parents wishlist! But, does every family have the same access?

    A study by Zillow shows families living in lower-income neighborhoods feel they don't have access to high quality education... while those in top-tier neighborhoods say they do have access.

    Local educators are trying to Raise The Bar by closing this gap.

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