Voters foresee fee increases for schools

Nevada’s voters say they’re OK with paying higher taxes if it means the state will keep class sizes small and pay teachers at least what they’re making now.

But in general, people don’t want to pay more for education services they’re not directly using. They would rather the state charge those who are using them, such as college students or high school football players.

Those are among the results of a new poll commissioned by the Review-Journal, 8NewsNow and Vegas PBS. The poll, conducted by Magellan Research, surveyed 600 likely voters by phone statewide from Sept. 6 through 16. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Marvin Longabaugh, president of Magellan Research, said class sizes and teacher salaries, in particular, were popular with the surveyed voters. More than half of the respondents said they would pay more taxes to decrease class size or keep them as they are, while nearly three-fourths said they would pay more taxes to increase teacher pay or keep it where it is.

Otherwise, Longabaugh said, the poll revealed a general attitude among Nevadans that harkens to its libertarian tradition.

Respondents were OK with keeping services "as long as the people who use the services are willing to pay for it," Longabaugh said. "Just don’t make me pay for it."

He said the down economy appears to have caused voters to tighten their wallets when it comes to taxes.

"Nevada can hardly afford to raise taxes," he said. "But they (voters) realize some tax increase is inevitable."

Education — both K-12 and higher ed — account for more than $3 billion a year. That’s about half the state’s entire budget.

Voters said they would rather see tuition increases at the colleges than the elimination of more programs. They also said they would rather charge fees to the parents of children involved in extracurricular activities or those who use busing than eliminate those programs.

The two candidates for governor, however, have already promised not to raise taxes at all.

"I don’t believe tax increases are the right thing to do when we’re in the middle of the most severe economic crisis in the history of our state," said Republican Brian Sandoval.

"Now is not really the time to raise taxes," said Democrat Rory Reid’s campaign spokesman, Mike Trask.

Still, education leaders said they saw good news in the polling data.

Higher Education

Dan Klaich, chancellor of the state’s higher education system, interpreted the data to mean voters support the most vital functions of higher ed.

He said it was reasonable that voters would want small programs to pay for themselves through tuition and fee increases.

He said the system recently began moving toward charging higher tuition and fees, with some conditions.

He and the Board of Regents want the colleges and universities to be allowed to keep what they charge students. Currently, most of that money goes to the state’s general fund, which is then redistributed.

Both Sandoval and Reid have said increases in tuition should stay with the institutions that charge them.

When it came to faculty and administrative salaries, by far the largest expense in higher education, a majority of those polled said they were against cuts. Ten percent said they would support a tax increase to pay higher salaries. Forty-four percent said they would support an increase to keep salaries where they are, and 42 percent said they’d rather see salaries cut.

"I’m glad to hear that people feel we shouldn’t absorb more cuts to faculty salaries," said Sondra Cosgrove, a history professor at the College of Southern Nevada and that school’s representative to the Nevada Faculty Alliance.

She said it would be difficult to implement sharp tuition increases at the community college and at Nevada State College, though, because they serve primarily a working class population that cannot afford to pay more.

At the state college, which opened in 2002 and is designed to offer four-year degrees at a lower cost than the universities, more than half of voters said they would support tuition increases rather than closing the school. Twenty percent said they would support tax increases to keep the school going, while 15 percent wanted to close it.

Klaich said higher ed leaders must be careful in implementing tuition increases. Making college cost too much can drive potential students away. In the end, that would mean not only fewer college graduates in Nevada, which already has a low number of them, but it would mean the institutions would not be collecting tuition and fees from those lost students.

Assemblyman Moises Denis, D-Las Vegas and vice chairman of the education committee, said the higher tuition and fees go, the more it would lock out lower- and middle-income students. He wanted to be careful that the system does not do that.

K-12 Education

Terri Janison, president of the Clark County School Board, said keeping class sizes from growing is among the most important things educators can do. She said it was great news that voters wanted to keep class sizes small.

"I hope the Legislature listens to that," she said.

She said that charging fees to pay for extracurricular activities might sound like a good idea in concept, but it is difficult in practice.

Parents in more well off areas of town, for example, might be a lot more willing to pay for a football team than parents in low income areas would be. That could leave the district in a bind. It would be unfair to only have extracurricular activities in wealthy areas, no matter who paid for them.

Despite that, she said she was willing to look into the possibility of implementing some sort of pay for use system for both transportation and extracurricular activities. The difficulty, she said, will be in hammering out the details.

Denis, who represents a low income area in eastern Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, agreed that charging fees for extracurricular activities and busing could be a problem.

"I would be very leery of that," he said.

Janison also noted that, like in higher ed, nearly 90 percent of the district’s cost is for salaries and benefits. She was happy to see voter support for teacher pay.

Ruben Murillo, president of the Clark County Education Association, agreed.

"It makes me happy to see that Nevadans value teachers and the work they do in the classroom," he said.

He was disappointed that voters were not willing to pay more for extracurricular activities, however.

"A sound education also includes athletics," he said. "The arts. The library. Music. P.E."

Contact reporter Richard Lake at rlake@reviewjournal .com or 702-383-0307.

NSPCA Gets Kittens From LA
Man killed during road-rage incident
Las Vegas police are looking for two men involved in the shooting death of a man outside a 7-Eleven story at Bonanza Road and Maryland Parkway on Nov. 12, 2018. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System hosts Veterans Day Car Show and BBQ
The 4th Annual Veterans Day Car Show and BBQ is held in celebration of Veterans Day at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System Medical Center in North Las Vegas, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Wildfires in Southern California
Wildfires hit Ventura County, Calif., on Nov. 9, 2018. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dedication of Nevada's Battle Born memorial
The state of Nevada on Friday dedicated its Battle Born memorial honoring 895 state residents who have died in America’s wars.
Las Vegas police and Sunrise Children's Hospital hope to prevent infant deaths
The Metropolitan Police Department and Sunrise Children's Hospital held a press conference to get the message out on preventable infant deaths attributed to "co-sleeping" and other unsafe sleeping habits. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
No serious injuries after car hits tree in south Las Vegas
One person reported minor injuries but wasn’t hospitalized after a Wednesday morning crash in the south valley.
Nellis Air Force Base keeps airmen fed
Nellis Air Force Bass airmen have delicious and healthy food items, and a variety of dining facilities to choose from. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Suspicious package found at central Las Vegas post office
Las Vegas police determined that a suspicious package found Monday morning at a central valley post office was not a threat.
Suspicious package found at central Las Vegas post office
Police evacuated the area around the Garside Station post office early Monday morning near Oakey and Decatur boulevards.
With husband's passing, family in limbo for workers' comp claim
Meredith Tracy's husand, Russell Tracy, died more than a year ago on his first day working for a new company when he fell 22 feet into a manhole that was not properly safeguarded. His employer was fined $82,000 in penalties for unsafe practices, but the company has denied her workers' compensation claim, leaving her with no compensation since the death. Rachel Aston Las Vegas Review-Journal @rookie__rae
With husband's passing, family in limbo for workers' comp claim
Meredith Tracy's husand, Russell Tracy, died more than a year ago on his first day working for a new company when he fell 22 feet into a manhole that was not properly safeguarded. His employer was fined $82,000 in penalties for unsafe practices, but the company has denied her workers' compensation claim, leaving her with no compensation since the death. Rachel Aston Las Vegas Review-Journal @rookie__rae
Las Vegas family shares flu warning
Carlo and Brenda Occhipinti lost their son, Carlo Jr., or “Junior,” to the flu last year.
Author Randall Cannon shares an anecdote about Stadust Raceway
Author Randall Cannon shares an anecdote about Dan Blocker, who played Hoss Cartwright on the TV show "Bonanza," and the actor's passion for auto racing at Stardust International Raceway in Las Vegas during the 1960s. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal.)
Project Neon 85 percent complete
On Wednesday morning Oct. 31, Interstate 15 northbound lane restrictions were removed opening up Exit 41 to Charleston Blvd. On Thursday Nov. 1, Interstate 15 southbound lane restrictions were removed. The new southbound off-ramp to Sahara Ave. and Highland Dr. also opened Thursday, November 1. With Project Neon 85% finished the flow of traffic on Interstate 15 has substantially diminished. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Girl killed after jumping from bridge onto 215 Beltway in Henderson
Eastbound lanes of the 215 Beltway are shut down by the Nevada Highway Patrol after a female juvenile jumped from the 215 overpass at Stephanie and was struck by a FedEx tractor trailer. Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal @Vegas88s
Kristallnacht story
An interview with 94-year-old Holocaust survivor Alexander Kuechel who survived seven concentration camps and didn’t leave Germany until after World War II was over. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1 dead in central Las Vegas crash
An early Wednesday morning crash left at least one person dead and another injured. The crash was reported just around 3 a.m. at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Swenson Street. At least two vehicles were involved in the crash, one of which caught fire. Debris was scattered across the intersection as police combed the area as they investigated the scene. Flamingo is blocked in both directions between Swenson and Cambridge Street. Northbound Swenson is blocked at the intersection.
Richard Knoeppel named the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year
Richard Knoeppel, an architecture design instructor at the Advanced technologies Academy, named the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year on Monday, Oct. 29, 2018. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mojave Poppy Bees
(Zach Portman/University of Minnesota Department of Entomology) Male Mojave poppy bees exhibit territorial fighting behavior. The Center for Biological Diversity wants the bee, found only in Clark County, to be added to the endangered species list.
Clark County Schools announce random searches
Clark County School District middle and high school students will be subject to random searches for weapons under a new initiative to combat the wave of guns found on campus. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss React to Dennis Hof's Death
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss speak about their friend and prominent brothel owner Dennis Hof's death at Dennis Hof's Love Ranch. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof has died
Nevada brothel owner and Republican candidate for Nevada State Assembly District 36, Dennis Hof has died. He was 72. Nye County Sherriff's office confirmed. Hof owned Love Ranch brothel, located in Crystal, Nevada.
Las Vegas police investigate suspicious package at shopping center
Las Vegas police evacuated a southeast valley shopping center at Flamingo and Sandhill roads early Tuesday morning while they investigated reports of a suspicious package. (Max Michor/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Las Vegas Metro hosts the K-9 Trials
The Las Vegas Metro K-9 Trials returns to the Orleans Arena to benefit the Friends For Las Vegas Police K-9 group.
Kingman residents love their little town
Residents of Kingman, Ariz. talk about how they ended up living in the Route 66 town, and what they love about their quiet community. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Service at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Twelve unclaimed veterans are honored at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City in Oct. 9, 2018. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas house prices reach highest level in 11 years
Las Vegas house prices are rising But so is the amount of available homes on the market Still, properties priced below $300,000 are selling fast And September was the first time since June 2007 that the median house price reached the $300,000 mark Las Vegas home prices have been rising at one of the fastest rates in the country over the past year Recent data show the market is now less affordable than the national average
National Night Out
About 100 Summerlin residents gathered at Park Centre Dr. in Summerlin on Tuesday for National Night Out. Lt. Joshua Bitsko with Las Vegas Metro, played with 3-year-old David who was dressed as a police officer. Face painting, fire truck tours and more kept kids busy as parents roamed behind them. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rural homeless issue comes to a head in Pahrump
On Sept. 12, Pahrump sheriff deputies told residents of a homeless encampment on private property that they had 15 minutes to vacate and grab their belongings. That decision might face some legal consequences. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like