CARSON CITY — The Nevada Senate approved a bill Wednesday making achievement charter schools subject to prevailing wage requirements, a move denounced by Republicans as an attempt to undercut a key education reform passed in 2015.
Senate Bill 173 was approved on a party-line, 12-8 vote and now goes to the Assembly.
Two year ago, the Republican-controlled Legislature approved Gov. Brian Sandoval’s initiative to place failing public schools under the management of a charter school organization. The legislation exempted achievement schools from prevailing wage requirements.
Sen. Yvanna Cancela, D-Las Vegas, said the purpose of SB173 is to standardize school construction requirements. She noted no one from the Department of Education or Achievement School District testified against the bill.
She added problems could arise if an achievement school is returned to public school management and maintenance or improvement projects were not done correctly.
But Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, countered Democrats are against achievement schools and claimed the bill was another attempt to kill the program.
He said the bill would make school upkeep more expensive and disproportionately hurt children in poverty and minority communities.
“The issue of prevailing wage has nothing to do with standards of construction,” Roberson said.
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