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EDITORIAL: Pre-K not the way

The state’s education leaders are celebrating a federal grant that will allow five school districts to expand pre-kindergarten programs for 4-year-olds. They’re sold on the idea that the earlier a child begins school, the better the child will fare in elementary grades and beyond. As reported last week by the Review-Journal’s Trevon Milliard, the state will receive $6.4 million as part of a four-year award that could exceed $43 million.

EDITORIAL: Local control of federal land

Sometimes, the perfect can’t be the enemy of the good. Although there was much to abhor about the defense funding bill that finally cleared Congress last week — Washington’s sausage factory was in rare form this month — the legislation delivered several land provisions of such importance to Nevada that the policy monstrosity should be celebrated across the Silver State.

EDITORIAL: Value your freedoms on Bill of Rights Day

Today is Bill of Rights Day. The observation, first ordered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941, commemorates Dec. 15, 1791, when the first 10 amendments to our Constitution — known as the Bill of Rights — took effect. President Roosevelt ordered the recognition because he saw the Bill of Rights as “the great American charter of personal liberty.” And it’s not difficult to see why.

EDITORIAL: Cracking the code on Nevada’s taxes

To call a new Tax Foundation study of Nevada’s revenue structure a starting point for tax reform discussions wouldn’t be accurate. Over the years, the state has seen too many tax studies to count, all of which have been considered by the Nevada Legislature to varying degrees, then thrown into desk drawers and onto top shelves to collect dust. Lawmakers and state leaders have talked and talked about tax reform for decades and done nothing to address core flaws in the way Nevada funds state government.

EDITORIAL: Governor’s council bolsters state’s mental health system

It was a move straight from the textbook on political crisis management. When a disaster of incompetence or nonperformance emerges, an elected executive appoints a task force, or a blue ribbon commission, or a select panel, or any group of people willing to address the outrage. Said task force then takes forever to produce a report that makes a nice paperweight come Christmastime, and nothing improves.

EDITORIAL: House must pass FOIA reforms today

Congress is quite adept at protecting its self-interest while ignoring the public’s interest, but this week offered a glimmer of hope that lawmakers still care about good governance and accountability. On Monday, the Senate unanimously passed the Freedom of Information Act Improvement Act, a bill critical to changing the federal government’s culture of resistance to openness.

EDITORIAL: Sin taxes and Garner

There has been no shortage of media coverage, outrage and commentary on the death of Eric Garner in New York City. That narrative has focused overwhelmingly on race (Mr. Garner was black, the officers were white), on the way police took him down in July, and on the grand jury’s decision last week to not indict the officer who had Mr. Garner in a chokehold.

EDITORIAL: IRS defies order to turn over tax documents

Back in February, President Barack Obama said the apparent targeting of conservative organizations by the IRS was not illegal or politically motivated, but rather the result of “some bone-headed decisions,” and that “not even a smidgen of corruption” was at play. A few months — and developments — later, however, the president’s words are even less believable than they were then.

EDITORIAL: Flightless foul: FAA stifles drones

Right now, Nevada stands on the cutting edge of the drone industry. A drone program at Creech Air Force Base employs 250 pilots and crew members, and in June, Nevada was designated as one of just six states that the Federal Aviation Administration approved to host drone testing. This fall, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas launched a drone studies minor program, and the University of Nevada, Reno started its drone minor last January.

EDITORIAL: School accountability

The public school system in Nevada, and particularly in Clark County, has many needs that will ultimately require funding, most notably capital funds to address the dire necessity for more campuses and to maintain and repair buildings on existing campuses. But with regard to poor-performing schools, it’s been shown time and time again that without accountability, throwing money at those schools doesn’t solve the problem.

EDITORIAL: Let Uber be Uber

To build a 21st-century economy, Nevada needs 21st-century companies. But a District Court judge’s embrace of a decidedly 20th-century regulatory structure has chased off one of the country’s most popular high-tech businesses — and denied hundreds of residents the jobs it supports.

EDITORIAL: City overreaches with Downtown Achieves

Municipal governments in Nevada have nothing to do with education. Cities have no role in funding schools, no role in governing schools and no role in setting education policy. That has always bothered plenty of elected city council members over the years, because platitudes about schools help candidates win low-turnout municipal elections.