The Walls For Mayor Education Methodology starts with uniting all stakeholders, including State Officials, the Board of Education, Public, and Charter School Administrators, Principals, Teachers, Teachers Union, Educational Community Activists, Parents, Students, Business and Community Partners.
As Mayor, I will work with Democrats, Republicans, Independents, 3rd Party members and others. Together we will provide a superior Public School Education for each and every individual child. That transcends the development of modern buildings with state of the art equipment and facilities, which are conducive to safe and potentially productive educational environments. We will eradicate the obsolete “one size fits all” educational concept, and replace it with “Educational Intensive Care.”
We must do more than safely warehouse students; teach them reading, writing, math and science and train them to pass tests. That is the bare minimum. We must thoroughly expose them to all of life's intangibles; including the arts, history, the humanities, civics, sports and technology. We must have one base curriculum common to children at the same grade level, across each of the schools, throughout the city. This will address the concern that a child transferring from one school to another loses six months of education.
Irrespective of the level of parental support or involvement, or lack thereof, we must completely educate all of our children. We must empower them to perform critical and analytical functions; and thereby enable them to appreciate their limitless potential.
We must encourage our children to dream big dreams, and equip them to follow their hearts and minds and to fully utilize their talents. The goal is to enable them to individualize the American Dream, succeed and live it.
We will implement strategic best practices designed to ensure Las Vegas students have every opportunity, and the support necessary to complete their education, Pre-K through 12th grade.
We will establish Public-Private Partnerships to avoid further burdening taxpayers with the burgeoning cost of education. I suggest we institutionalize Corporate support for our educational system through naming rights, not charter schools. For example, we could rename Rancho High School, the "Sprint-Rancho High School Campus." In exchange for long-term naming rights, Sprint Communications would be required to invest an initial $1.5 million dollars for Capital improvements and thereafter provide $1 million per year to fund educational programs at Rancho High School. Other companies and private individuals might pay a licensing fee to have the auditorium or gymnasium, cafeteria or certain classrooms according to their wishes.
New Funding from Naming Rights would be added to 100% of the current funding;
Unfortunately, since 2019 threats, violence and unacceptable behavior within Las Vegas schools has increased 46%. With a case-by-case sensitive Zero Tolerance Policy, we will stop the harassment, bullying and intimidation before it escalates out of control. We will fully address this crisis and let nothing compromise our peaceful school decorum.
My administration will make certain our schools are a safe environment.
I would encourage the school district to eliminate all such reactionary practices, and to be more proactive in their approach to gaining the cooperation and compliance of students. Meanwhile, I support the removal of pepper spray from CCSD schools.
CCSD could enlist the support of Violence Interrupters. Those community members - properly trained in deconfliction, with the authorization and support of school administrators, could potentially de-escalate trouble situations.
As mayor, I will make certain that Las Vegas schools are always in compliance with all State requirements. Likewise, I will make certain the state fulfills its lawful obligation to fund schools.
I will the State Legislature accountable in as much as Nevada fell to 47th in per-pupil funding and funds its students $4,370 per pupil less than the national average in state and local dollars after adjusting for regional cost differences. Nevada also received an “F” and ranked 44th when it came to "funding effort" which reflects both state and local funding as a percentage of GDP at the state level.
I will advocate for:
New Funding from the state to be added to 100% of the current funding;
Smaller class sizes;
Teacher and supportive service personnel raises;
Funding Formula Transparency; and
Community Schools Initiatives (to improve struggling student performance).
Split Clark County School Districts into Smaller Districts
A proposal that would have allowed municipalities to opt out of their local school district and form their own failed to qualify for the 2024 ballot.
To qualify the Community Schools Initiative needed a minimum of140,477 valid signatures divided amongst Nevada’s four congressional districts. Once certified, the statutory initiative would have been taken up for consideration by the 2023 Legislature and, if no action was taken within 40 days, it would have headed to the 2024 general election ballot.
Although the group behind the petition submitted more than 230,000 signatures, they weren’t able to get the requisite 35,195 signatures in each of the four congressional districts.
Question: Would Smaller Boards increase costs?
Consider factors such as Management, Staff, Purchasing, Economy of Scales
Zoom and Victory Schools are located in Nevada’s poorest communities, serve the highest percentage of at-risk students, and are proven models of education equity. With the shift away from a school-based approach, Zoom and Victory schools will have their budgets reduced and lose significant momentum on school climate and culture, jeopardizing gains made for students in our most impacted schools and communities. The legislature decided to move forward with transferring Zoom and Victory funding into weights in the new funding formula. Weights were set at 0.24 for English Learners, 0.12 for gifted and talented, and .03 for at-risk pupils. The anemic weight for at-risk will provide only $209 additional dollars per student. This is not nearly enough money to serve students with Victory services outlined in SB543: prekindergarten, a summer academy, additional instruction, professional development for educators, hiring incentives, employment of additional support personnel, a reading skills center, and integrated student supports and wrap-around services. We did receive some good news during the session that CCSD is looking to backfill any shortfalls to these programs. This will give these model programs a short reprieve, but this issue could be back at the next legislative session.
In a defeated effort, NSEA called for the passage of AJR1, the mining tax that would have generated over $400M. Instead, a new tax on gross revenues of mining was adopted to generate an estimated $85M/year. These monies will be added to the new education funding plan along with $70M/year in existing net proceeds starting in 2023.
Total per-pupil funding actually decreased by $115 from FY21 to FY22. And since the end of the Legislative Session, inflation has been over 5%, further devaluing current education funding.
Education Issues to be Addressed:
Amount per District (Rural v. Metropolitan);
Plan to Address Enrollment Surges;
Nevada Virtual Learning Academy;
Distance Learning Option;
Pupil Centric Financing Metric;
Per Pupil (Currently $6,000)
Funding for Special Needs Students; and
Adequate funding amount.
Charter School Funding
One of the biggest projected beneficiaries of SB543 are Nevada’s charter schools. According to data included in Mr. Aguero’s presentation to NSEA on May 6 on SB543, charter schools would be the recipients of a multi-million-dollar giveaway, receiving a projected $28M increase when the new funding formula is activated. This is an even larger increase than would be received by the much- larger Washoe County School District. While freezing funding for most Nevada school districts, the windfall for charter schools in this plan is movement of precious resources from traditional public schools to charter schools.
Charter schools were initially promoted by educators who sought to innovate within the local public school system to better meet the needs of their students. Over the last 22 years, charter schools have grown dramatically to include large numbers of charters that are privately managed, largely unaccountable, and not transparent as to their operations or performance. Many charter schools have devolved far from the original concept as small incubators of education innovation.
The explosive growth of charters has been driven, in part, by deliberate and well-funded efforts to ensure that charters are exempt from the basic safeguards and standards that apply to public schools.
This growth has undermined local public schools and communities, without producing any overall increase in student learning and growth.
It is important to note, that most recent studies have shown that public schools outperform charter schools when accounting for student demographics, and public schools educate every student, including English learners, students in poverty, and students with individualized education plans.
While charters schools are prohibited from discriminating, they serve far fewer students in poverty, English language learners, and students with disabilities.
During the last Nevada Legislature session, there was a great deal of focus on the lack of accountability of charter schools in the state. AB462 was introduced as a moratorium on charter school expansion but was amended to require the State Public Charter School Authority to develop and implement a 5-year growth plan for charter schools. Critics complained the moving precious dollars from traditional public schools to charter schools, especially without ensuring appropriate controls and the accountability of charter schools, was unwise.