To the editor:
About a decade ago, I recall seeing a headline on the front page of the Review-Journal, stating, “We don’t need no education!” At the time, I dismissed it as just a cheeky description of the latest episode in the ongoing educational follies in Nevada, and specifically in the Clark County School District. Surely the politicians, business people and parents of Nevada would never permit the public schools to continue their dizzying downward spiral to the level of being the laughingstock of the U.S. educational system. I was so wrong.
The course of events since then has provided ample proof that no one really cares about the state of education in Nevada. Politicians always crow about their commitment to improving the schools, but no one is willing to take the lead. No one wants to assume the mantle of educational leadership and do the heavy lifting. At the beginning of the last legislative session, the leaders went to Carson City vowing to stay in session until the schools were properly funded. Near the end of the session, the legislative leaders threw the schools under the bus and came home with $50 million for English Language Learning, drivers’ licenses for undocumented immigrants and a small amount of money to expand all-day kindergarten; a far cry from what they vowed to do.
The hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren would have to wait. The recent successful campaign to defeat Question 3, the margins tax to fund education, was further proof of the lack of commitment to education.
Meaningful and fair tax reform and educational funding will be difficult to achieve in Nevada, simply because the casinos and mining are off the table. Those industries have no real interest in public schools and certainly are not going to agree to any attempt to lift the cap on their taxes, nor will they allow a lottery to support public education.
Gov. Brian Sandoval has said that he will spearhead the school reform effort, soliciting ideas to accomplish that goal. The obstacles facing him are formidable, deeply entrenched and married to the status quo. Hopefully he is successful. The hundreds of thousands of children in Nevada’s public schools need quality education, now.
NORTH LAS VEGAS
To the editor;
The letter from Gopal Rao was stunning (“Democrats deserved voters’ support,” Dec. 3 Review-Journal). He mentioned the current unemployment rate as having steadily gone down. If you do your homework, you will find that the government’s definition of unemployment has changed.
We currently have approximately 15.1 million people who have remained jobless for more than two years. Many of those who are unable to find work have filed for, and are now receiving, disability. Almost 7 percent of our total population is on disability. All of the above are not included in the unemployment rate. True unemployment is near 12 percent.
Obamacare has rocked this nation in many ways. The current administration was blindsided by the layoffs created by this monstrosity. Businesses have reduced staffing or will only hire part-time. How is this helpful? Obamacare was created for 12 percent of our population. Yes, we need changes to our health care system, but not this oversized, little-understood mass of paperwork with a barely working website.
The budget cuts to our military were some of the worst ever. The military makes up about 18 percent of the total budget, but received the largest cut. In the face of everything going on in the Middle East, Russia, China and on our own borders, why put our men and women in uniform in harm’s way like this?
Sorry, Mr. Rao, but I must disagree with your assertions.