Reid, Sandoval battle over future of education as first formal debate ends

The debate between gubernatorial candidates Rory Reid and Brian Sandoval finished where it started Sunday night, with Reid accusing Sandoval of being a weak leader who would cut education by $533 million and Sandoval ignoring his opponent’s attempts to put him off his main message that he would improve schools by creating more competition and accountability.

"I started this debate off with a strong accusation. I said that Brian was not a strong leader," Reid said in closing remarks after the hour-long debate. "I’m afraid there are two Brian Sandovals."

Reid said that during the Republican primary, Sandoval proposed Draconian budget cuts, but more recently delivered an education plan in which he made a lot of promises for improvements without saying how he would pay for them all.

"You can’t do all the nice things he said he would do," Reid charged, calling on Sandoval to explain his budget figures.

Sandoval ignored the challenge and instead ended the combative face-off by promising to make education a top priority.

"Education is incredibly important to me both on a personal level and for the people of the state of Nevada," Sandoval said before launching into another summary of his education plan that calls for more local control, open enrollment to let students attend any school and an end to teacher tenure. "My plan calls for real accountability… I will work hard every day to improve education here in the state of Nevada."

Earlier, the two men clashed on how to improve individual schools, with Sandoval wanting to generate more competition by allowing students to attend so-called magnet schools and other speciality institutions that offer better programs to meet individual needs.

"The frustration is there are people waiting in line" to attend the best schools, Sandoval said. "I think we have to have open enrollment to give people a choice."

But Reid said that sort of open enrollment system could leave poorer students and poorer schools behind.

"The problem with empowerment is it doesn’t empower enough people," Reid said, adding that he’s offering a better solution that would allow parents and teachers to get together and decide how to improve education programs. "My plan would allow every school in Nevada to be on that model."

On the issue of class size, both men suggested local control by schools is the best solution.

Contact Laura Myers at or 702-387-2919.


Rory Reid came out swinging Sunday in the gubernatorial debate with Brian Sandoval, accusing his Republican opponent of being a "weak leader" who would cut education by as much as $533 million. Sandoval returned the jab, saying Reid wasn’t telling the truth.

"My opponent has misled all of you with regard to my education plan," Sandoval said as the two debated side by side from twin black podiums on stage at Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, a public charter school. "Nowhere, nowhere in my plan does it call for the layoff of a single teacher."

Reid dismissed Sandoval’s education plan, calling it a "Hallmark card. It sounds real nice but there’s not much substance there."

"Brian Sandoval is a nice man, but he’s a weak leader," Reid said at the start of the debate.

"On education, Brian is not strong and he’s not consistent," Reid continued in his opening statement. "He even supports Sharron Angle, who would abolish the Education Department."

Sandoval didn’t directly address the issue of Angle, the Republican opponent of Reid’s father, U.S. Sen. Harry Reid. Instead, Sandoval defended his education plan, saying it would give more local control to schools, end teacher tenure and provide more accountability and school choice.

Not satisfied, Reid became more aggressive and twice held up a piece of paper with the $533 million figure on it and challenged Sandoval.

"Here’s the number. If this isn’t the right number, how much are you going to cut?" Reid asked.

Sandoval shook his head and smiled, and launched into why he thinks Reid’s plan actually would cut education spending.

"You don’t know your own budget plan," Sandoval said to Reid.

Sandoval said Reid’s plan could cut education spending by $200 million because 70 percent of the state’s payroll is for teachers and Reid wants to cut back on total spending for state workers.

"Your proposal includes a dramatic cut in education," Sandoval charged.

Reid shook his head. "Well, Brian, I don’t know where you’re getting your numbers."

Those watching the debate inside the gym at the Agassi Preparatory Academy included married tennis greats Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf and education activist and philanthropist Elaine Wynn. The gym was full, with seating on the floor for about 150 people. Dozens of academy students sat in the bleachers as well.

Paula Francis and Dave Courvoisier of Channel 8 moderated the debate.


Gubernatorial candidates Republican Brian Sandoval and Democrat Rory Reid will engage in their first formal debate at 6 p.m. Sunday in Las Vegas.

Reid is hoping the live, televised encounter will get him some much-needed attention as he runs far behind Sandoval in the polls. The debate is competing for viewers with the Emmy Awards and preseason NFL football.

The one-hour debate is supposed to focus on education. Nevada ranks poorly on almost every list on education, with low graduation rates, high dropout rates and per-pupil spending that lags behind the national average. Both gubernatorial candidates have proposed detailed plans to improve schools.

Reid’s education plan would expand Nevada’s empowerment program, allowing principals more autonomy to manage their own school budgets. It also would focus on teacher accountability for student performance and use factors other than test scores to measure school performance. Those factors could include the percentage of students who enroll in college or the number of arts programs the school offers.

Sandoval’s education plan centers on school accountability as well. Under his plan, schools would be awarded grades based on student performance. Schools that get higher grades would get financial incentives. Low-grade schools would get more training and development assistance. Sandoval’s plan would also expand school choice, making it easier for parents to transfer their children to higher performing schools.

Sandoval, a former federal judge, is running ahead of Reid, who is chairman of the Clark County Commission and the son of U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic incumbent who is fighting a close battle to retain his congressional seat against GOP challenger Sharron Angle. The latest Mason-Dixon survey shows Sandoval with 53 percent support compared with 31 percent for Reid.

The debate is co-sponsored by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, 8NewsNOW, Vegas PBS and the Agassi Preparatory Academy.

It was airing live on Channel 8. It also was streamed on and, the Review-Journal’s website.

The debate was scheduled to re-air on Vegas PBS, Channel 10, at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Sunday, and again at 3 a.m. Monday.

Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
1 dead, 1 wounded in North Las Vegas standoff
A woman was hospitalized with serious injuries on Thursday morning after being shot inside a North Las Vegas house. Police responded about 11 p.m. to a shooting at a home on the 5600 block of Tropic Breeze Street, near Ann Road and Bruce Street. The wounded woman, police believe, was shot by a man, who later barricaded himself inside the house. SWAT was called to assist, and when officers entered the house, they discovered the man dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Las Vegas Teen Makes Clothing Resale His Side Hustle
Las Vegas resident Reanu Elises, 18, started buying and selling streetwear online when he was a high school junior. Like many other young adults, the world of online resale applications like Depop and Mercari have made selling clothing online for a profit easy. Now, Elises spends his free time at thrift shops looking for rare and vintage clothing he can list on his on his shop. Now in his freshman year at UNLV as a business marketing major, Elises hopes to open a shop of his own one day and start his own clothing brand. He estimates that he's made about $1000 from just thrifted finds in the past year, which he'll use to buy more thrift clothing and help pay for expenses in college. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Fruition Vineyards Encourages Young Entrepreneurs to "Buy, Flip, Dream"
Once a month, young adults gather at Fruition Vineyards on South Maryland Parkway near UNLV to dig through a stack of rare, vintage and designer clothing that's marked down well below it's resale value. Shop founder Valerie Julian began the vent, dubbed "Fruition Vineyards" in August after running her streetwear shop since 2005. The event gives young entrepreneurs the opportunity to "buy, flip, dream" according to Jean. Meaning that they're encouraged to buy the clothing for sale and find a way to resell it for a profit, then reinvest that into whatever dream they pursue: college, a hobby or their own resale business. Shoppers lined up starting an hour before noon on the last Saturday in April for the opportunity and spoke about what they hoped to do with their finds and profits. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Local man goes under cover searching for answers to homelessness
Licensed mental health therapist Sheldon Jacobs spent 48 hours under cover posing as a homeless man in an attempt to gain perspective on the complex issue.
Social Work UNLV Lecturer's Calling
Ivet Aldaba-Valera was the first person in her family to graduate from both high school and college. The 33-year-old UNLV lecturer is now pursuing her Ph. D in public policy at the school and has used her degree in social work to engage with the young Latino and Latina community of Las Vegas. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
The world's longest racetrack could be coming to Pahrump
Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club in Pahrump might be the first racetrack in the world longer than 16 miles long once the expansion is complete. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Gold Point townsperson talks about why he choose to live in a ghost town
Gold Point townsperson Walt Kremin talks about the ghost town in Nevada he calls home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Search for missing 3-year-old boy at Sunset Park
Las Vegas police and Red Rock Search and Rescue team search for a missing child at Sunset Park in southeast Las Vegas on Sunday, Sept.2, 2018. (Chitose Suzuki/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai speaks at Las Vegas tech conference
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban on her way home from school in Pakistan after advocating for girls' education, spoke at VMworld 2018 at Mandalay Bay. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Father recalls the night his 14-year-old son died jumping into moving traffic
From the Clark County Detention Center, Ezequiel Anorve Serrano talks about the night his 14-year-old son, Silas Anorve, died jumping into moving traffic on U.S. 95. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Palace Station unveils new sports book
Palace Station talks about the new sports book Thursday, August 23, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
One of world's longest racetracks planned in Pahrump by 2020
The racetrack will be 16 miles long by the year 2020 according to Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club owner John Morris. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Henderson police bodycam footage of officer-involved shooting
Henderson police released body-worn camera footage of an officer-involved shooting in a grocery store parking lot at 2667 Windmill Parkway on Aug. 12, 2018. (Henderson Police Department)
Robotics takes off at Las Vegas Academy
Las Vegas Academy’s robotics team made it all the way to the world competition last year, the first year the team competed. Zackary Perry describes how they programmed their robot to compete. The team is an example of what Tesla wants to have in every school in the state. (Meghin Delaney/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bicyclist suffers major head trauma in hit-and-run
A bicyclist was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after a Thursday morning hit-and-run crash near the school formerly known as Agassi Prep. Police said the bicyclist was hit by a white SUV, which fled the scene. The injured man suffered multiple injuries including major head trauma. As of 9 a.m., Lake Mead remained closed between Martin Luther King and Revere Street while police investigate.
Las Vegas artist Dave Dave dies at 42
Dave Dave talks about his art and his life in 2016. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dave Dave, whose dad set him on fire in 1983, dies
Dave Dave, a respected Las Vegas artist who was badly scarred as a boy when his father tried to burn him to death in Southern California, died at Sunrise Hospital on July 15. He was 42. When he was 6, Dave's father tried to kill him by setting him on fire. He was given a sleeping pill and his bed at a Buena Park, California, motel was doused with kerosene. “I remembered being in a lot of pain,” Dave told the Review-Journal in 2016. “When stuff happens to you at that young of an age, you tend to block it out, but I remember the pain was excruciating.” Dave, who was born David Rothenberg, became close friends with Michael Jackson, who met him after the attack, which burned more than 90 percent of his body. “I wanted to meet him, and he wanted to meet me, and that just turned into a lifelong relationship that never ended,” Dave said. “It was amazing being friends with Michael Jackson. He was an amazing person.” Dave attended ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, and collaborated with various artists around Las Vegas, eventually selling his art to private collectors. Despite his challenges, he continued to live, thrive and create. Dave Dave
Homicide detectives investigate woman's death
Las Vegas police were called to Tahiti Village Resort early Wednesday after calls that someone had been shot. Police found a woman’s body between a parking garage and boiler room on the resort's property. A guest first reported hearing gunfire. There are no witnesses, but police will examine surveillance videos and look for clues. The woman was not identified, but a purse was found near the body. She did not appear to be a guest at the resort.
LVMPD Discusses Ross Dress for Less Shooting
LVMPD Assistant Sheriff Charles Hank discussed the 15th officer-involved shooting of the year at a press conference at Metro headquarters on Tuesday, Aug. 14. The active-shooter incident took place at the Ross Dress for Less store at the 4000 block Blue Diamond Road in the south Las Vegas Valley. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County School Board president Deanna Wright on travel expenses
Clark County School Board President Deanna Wright says she followed proper expense protocol in trip to Florida last year.
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Shooting leaves 1 dead in southeast valley
A man was found fatally shot in the doorway of a squatter apartment after an argument ended in gunfire on Sunday night. Officers responded about 10:30 p.m. to the Silver Pines apartments and discovered the man in a breezeway in one of the buildings. The wounded man died at the scene, despite the efforts of another person, who tried to administer medical aid. Witnesses saw a man and a woman flee the scene, but were unable to give police a clear description.
North Las Vegas unveils new school crosswalk
North Las Vegas councilman Isaac Barron talks about the new school crosswalk in front of CP Squires Elementary School Monday, August 6, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
LVMPD Briefing on OIS #13
Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly held a press conference to discuss details of the 13th officer-involved-shoot for the department in 2018. Video shows the moments before the suspect was shot. The shooting, which has been edited out, occurred as the suspect lunged at an officer outside the apartment. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sedan and semitrailer collide in south Las Vegas
An early Wednesday morning crash has left one person in critical condition. A sedan and semitrailer collided around 4 a.m. at the corner of Spencer Street and Serene Avenue. Police do not believe impairment is a factor in the crash. Spencer has been blocked off north of Serene while police continue their investigation.
Cybersecurity Professionals Flock to Las Vegas for Black Hat
Black Hat USA, the largest annual cybersecurity conference, is expecting a record 17,000 attendees during its six-day run at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center this week. One thing attendees have in mind is making sure they don't get hacked while they're there. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police chase ends with suspects captured in east Las Vegas
An early Tuesday morning chase ended with a car crash in an east Las Vegas neighborhood. Police were pursuing the vehicle, which they say was involved in robberies in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, when the driver crashed at Owens and Statz Street. A man was taken into custody. A woman was ejected from a vehicle and taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The intersection at Mojave Road and Owens Avenue was shut down while police officers searched for the suspect and investigated. The intersection will remain closed for most of the morning.
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like