Fund Our Future campaign highlights Nevada’s education woes

Updated February 13, 2018 - 7:44 pm

A statewide campaign launched Tuesday demanded adequate funding for students and highlighted Nevada’s position as the worst state in the nation for education and its low ranking for education funding.

Teachers, students and other members of the Fund Our Future Nevada campaign stressed the need for public awareness of the issues, noting that while recent investments are helpful, they’re not enough.

“Nevada schools are crumbling,” said Connor Leeming, student body president at Palo Verde High School. “I go to many schools in my services as student body president, and I see teachers being cut, 40-plus kids in a room in core classes, budgets slashed. And although Nevada business is booming, once again our schools remain isolated and forgotten in the shadows.”

The announcement at Tomiyasu Elementary School in the east valley focused on marijuana taxes and room taxes as examples of how funding initially intended for education does not end up benefiting it.

Money from the room tax, passed in 2009, was meant to generate money for schools in a supplemental account. Since 2011, however, that money has been transferred to the Distributive School Account, the state’s main source of education funding.

Critics argue that that move supplants existing funding for schools rather than supplementing it — reducing the state’s burden to school districts’ per-pupil amount.

The tax has raked in roughly $893.7 million from fiscal year 2012 to 2017, according to figures from the governor’s finance office.

Jenn Blackhurst, president of the Hope for Nevada advocacy group, said legislators have continued to balance the state’s budget on the backs of children.

“It’s so frustrating for me to hear people complain about our public education and say, ‘We’ve given them money, and they haven’t been able to make any improvements with it,’” she said. “When in fact people don’t understand that that money hasn’t been used as the voters intended.”

She also pointed to the 10 percent retail tax on recreational marijuana, which was proposed to go to schools but later was diverted to the state’s rainy day fund after a last-minute legislative showdown.

The announcement follows a three-part Review-Journal series on the state of education funding in Nevada, which highlighted the Silver State as one of only a handful that hasn’t been legally challenged over its education funding.

Delaware recently joined the states that have been sued, after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint in January over the state’s funding and resources.

The Review-Journal series also found that the Clark County School District’s per-pupil amount from the Distributive School Account has only increased 66 percent since 1967, when accounting for inflation, despite an increasingly diverse student population.

Yet recent education initiatives have sought to address the needs of those students, and Gov. Brian Sandoval has touted his leadership in sealing $470 million for targeted student populations in the past two legislative sessions.

“I believe that one of the most important investments we can make as a state is the investment we make in our future and in Nevada’s young learners,” Sandoval told the Review-Journal in November. “I do not agree with the premise stated by some that insufficient funds have been provided to our counties. I have great respect and appreciation for the teaching profession and all educators, and that is why I supported the single largest increase in K-12 education funding in Nevada history.”

Paul Johnson, chief financial officer for the White Pine County School District, recognized those efforts by Sandoval and legislators at the campaign announcement. But he called for a fix to the largest category of a school district’s budget — the state’s general fund.

Base funding for each district, he argued, first needs to be fixed.

“If that base is not correct, then anything attached to that base is also going to be skewed,” he said. “It’s important that we get that base funding correct and have a sincere and earnest conversation about the educational services and the cost and demand associated with that.”

The Fund our Future campaign is a look into a potentially hot-button issue for Nevada’s next legislative session in 2019.

The Nevada Department of Education didn’t respond to a request for comment on the campaign.

Contact Amelia Pak-Harvey at or 702-383-4630. Follow @AmeliaPakHarvey on Twitter.

Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Holocaust survivor on acceptance
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, talks about the most important message for people to understand from her life and experiences.
Holocaust survivor speaks about telling her story
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, tells of opening up about her experiences during Sunday’s event at Temple Sinai.
Jesus Jara State of the Schools address
Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara delivers his State of the Schools address on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Michael Naft sworn in to Clark County Commission
Michael Naft, chosen by Gov. Steve Sisolak to be his replacement on the Clark County Commission, was sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas police piecing together details of fatal shooting
Six hours after the fact, Las Vegas homicide detectives worked to reconstruct the scene of a shooting early Jan. 7 that left one man dead in the southeast valley. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dyer Lawrence explains college football playoff system proposal
Las Vegan Dyer Lawrence has a new idea for a college football playoff system that includes a unique scheduling component called National Call Out Day. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death row inmate Scott Dozier found dead in his cell
Nevada death row inmate Scott Dozier is dead. Dozier’s death ends his legal odyssey, which began in 2007 when he was convicted in the 2002 murder of Jeremiah Miller, but does little to clarify what’s next for Nevada’s death penalty.
I-15 southbound near Primm closed after ‘major crash’
A rollover crash Saturday morning involving at least nine vehicles on southbound Interstate 15 near Primm caused an hourslong traffic delay. Traffic was backed up to Sloan, live traffic cameras show. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death Valley visitors deal with shutdown
Visitors staying at the Furnace Creek Campground were forced to move from the campground following health and safety concerns due to lack of resources during the partial government shutdown at Death Valley National Park in Calif., on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Richard Brian Las Vegas Review-Journal @vegasphotograph
Half of homicides in Henderson for 2018 domestic violence related
Lt. Kirk Moore of the public information office of the city of Henderson police department speaks to the Review-Journal in Henderson, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Henderson saw a slight increase in homicides in the past year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak stops by Las Vegas Boys and Girls Club
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak kicks off his tour to Carson City, which will take him from Las Vegas, through Tonopah, and up to the capital city. First stop is the Downtown Boys & Girls Club.
Certificates for renewing wedding vows in Clark County
The Marriage License Bureau in Clark County began issuing a Certificate of Vow Renewal to married couples who are renewing their wedding vows on Jan. 3, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas flu season better than last year (so far)
Dr. Fermin Leguen, chief medical officer and director of clinical services at the Southern Nevada Health District, said there were 24 flu-related deaths at this point in the flu season. No deaths have been reported so far this year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The Las Vegas Valley’s First Baby of 2019
The first 2019 baby in the Las Vegas Valley was Melialani Chihiro Manning, born at 12:10 a.m. at Henderson Hospital. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas NYE Fireworks - VIDEO
The full show: A spectacular view from the rooftop of the Trump International Hotel as 80,000 pyrotechnics illuminated the Las Vegas Strip at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks by Grucci choreographed launches from the Stratosphere, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Sources: Henderson Constable may face more charges
Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell may face additional charges ... stemming from his spending of county funds, sources said. Mitchell was indicted earlier this month on five felony theft and fraud charges ... after a Las Vegas Review-Journal story questioned his spending. But grand jury records show even more extensive spending including ... an $800 dinner at steakhouse ... nearly 200 atm withdrawals mostly at gambling establishments ... and even Disneyland tickets. But his attorney plans to ask a judge to dismiss the charges.
Las Vegas NYE Restrictions and Enhanced Security
If you are planning to celebrate New Year's Eve on the Las Vegas Strip or Fremont Street, be aware that you are not allowed to bring backpacks, coolers, strollers or glass. There will also be an increase in security to ensure safe celebrations across town.
Catholic Charities serves up 53rd annual Christmas dinner
Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada and more than 100 volunteers served 1,000 Christmas meals to Southern Nevada's homeless and less fortunate. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @kmcannonphoto)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jeffrey Martin Added To Nevada's Black Book
Martin was one of four men convicted of theft and cheating at gambling in 2016 in Clark County District Court and sentenced to prison. The Nevada Gaming Commission voted unanimously Thursday to include Martin in the black book.
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
Buffalo Wild Wings security video
Security footage from a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in southwest Las Vegas captured a driver who repeatedly crashed into a vehicle in a failed attempt to squeeze into a tight parking spot.
The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village's Magical Forest added 1 million lights and a synchronized music show visible from all over the forest this year. The holiday attraction, which began in 1991, has a train, rides, food and entertainment along with the light displays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Navigating the new I-515 southbound to 215 Beltway ramp configuration
After opening at 5 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018, the new Interstate 515 southbound to the 215 Beltway westbound freeway ramp configuration caused confusion amongst motorist. Here’s how to navigate the new ramp. (Mick Akers/ Las Vegas Review-Journal).
A record breaking donation of nearly $9 million to Girls Scouts of Southern Nevada
A record breaking donation of property valued at nearly $9 million was made to the Girls Scouts of Southern Nevada by the Charles and Phyllis M. Frias Charitable Trust. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal. @bizutesfaye
Kerry Clasby thanks the community for support after California fire damage
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about the lessons of accepting help as she has gone through the Woolsey Fire disaster, in which she lost many of her belongings. About 100 people were on hand for an event that raised about $7,000.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like