Gubernatorial candidate Chris Giunchigliani on Wednesday unveiled her education plan calling for increased teacher salaries and more base per-pupil funding throughout Nevada.
Seated around a table in the library at Park Elementary School, Giunchigliani unveiled her five-part plan to take care of students, support educators, pay for schools, increase safety and bring together the community.
Giunchigliani, a Democrat and member of the Clark County Commission, called herself a “budget hawk,” saying there are plenty of areas in the budget to help pay for the proposed increases.
A former special education teacher and chief of both the local and state teachers unions, Giunchigliani lamented some of the working conditions teachers face, including increases in class sizes and testing. She said she recently talked to a kindergarten teacher who was slated to have 23 students in her class next year.
“That’s shameful, and we need to do better than that,” she said.
Giunchigliani wants to take two controversial school choice programs off the books. She’d like to repeal the Achievement School District, which aims at transforming underperforming schools into charters and repeal Education Savings Accounts, which is intended to give money to families to send their children to private schools or pay for other education expenses.
“I don’t suport giving vouchers to private and parochial schools,” she said.
No funding mechanism has been created that would allow the state to administer ESA payments.
Giunchigliani said paying teachers more would restore some gravitas to the teaching profession. She also wants to increase the base funding per stud+ent in the state, which would help alleviate the budget issues districts are facing right now.
Giunchigliani opposed arming teachers but wants to see what recommendations a task force created by Gov. Brian Sandoval makes to incorporate if she is elected.
Other highlights of Giunchigliani’s platform include:
■ Expanding the teacher school supply reimbursement account.
■ Fully funding incentive programs for teachers at schools serving low-income students.
■ New career ladders for teachers who stay in classrooms.
■ Creating an education “rainy day fund.”
■ Expanding Head Start.
■ Increasing the number of school gardens.