LETTERS: Proponents of school choice have worthy motives

While we may disagree politically and philosophically, I have always known Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani to be a person of integrity who cares about her community. That’s why I was so disappointed to read her recent attack on education reform, wherein she resorts to the same old partisan political playbook by criticizing concerned parents, school choice advocates and public servants who have dared to challenge the persistently underperforming public school system here in Southern Nevada.

The Clark County School District ranks near the bottom nationally in graduation rate, student achievement, and third-grade literacy. The status quo isn’t working, and more of the same won’t either. Since Commissioner Giunchigliani has chosen to speak about this issue in partisan terms, accusing proponents of school choice of being shills who are determined to “undermine education altogether,” I’ll respond with simple facts.

When Republicans took control of both houses of the Nevada Legislature in 2015, we took seriously our charge to improve educational opportunities for all of Nevada’s children, regardless of ZIP code. The old argument of more money versus reform was a false choice. We knew we needed to do both.

Expanded school choice is a critical component of our comprehensive efforts to fix the nation’s worst educational system. To stifle it for so many families now, before it has a chance to succeed, would be unconscionable.

Publications from across the country termed our reforms “groundbreaking” and “historic,” saying that families “in the Silver State have struck gold.” One even went on to say “Nevada did really just win the space race for education reform.” All together, we enacted the most comprehensive set of public education reforms in the history of any state, ever.

I can understand why reform can be unsettling to those who have been part of the status quo for so long. Change isn’t easy and can sometimes be scary. But attacking the motives of those interested in moving the new Nevada forward, using apocalyptic language and silly straw-man arguments, won’t do a thing to improve our children’s educational outcomes.

Education reform need not be a partisan issue. As Republicans move forward in providing the bold reform Nevada families deserve, we welcome Commissioner Giunchigliani and those of all political stripes to join us in creating an education system we can all be proud of.

Michael Roberson


— The writer is Nevada Senate majority leader.

Sanders’ double-speak

During the most recent Democratic debate, I broke out laughing as I listened to a rumpled old socialist make some of the most illogical statements I have ever heard. And this guy might actually be the Democratic nominee for president.

Initially, Sen. Bernie Sanders makes the claim that corruption in government is the root cause of the dominance of the “1 percent” in our society. He chortles that we as citizens should rise up and not give them any more money. But then, unbelievably, Sen. Sanders outlines a massive tax-and-spend plan that will exponentially increase the size of government. The very pot he claims should be drained due to corruption he then says should be bestowed with all aspects of our health care.

It’s a long shot that this avowed socialist will ever get to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., but it is truly amazing that even one citizen who listens to his garbled message wouldn’t question his sanity.

If you think the federal government would do a great job providing health care for 300 million people, take a look at how the feds provide health care for less than 7 million veterans. It’s shocking and disgraceful. But never discount the possibility that low-information liberal voters will buy this pap. After all, President Barack Obama got them to believe you could keep your doctor and insurance, save $2,500 per year, and it wouldn’t cost the federal government a dime.

Joseph Schillmoeller

Las Vegas

NFL in Vegas

I have some advice for Las Vegas Sands Corp. CEO Sheldon Adelson and Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis, in case NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell insists on keeping a team out of Las Vegas: Buy the bum out.

Daniel S. Maxime

Las Vegas

Parking protests

There’s only one word to describe MGM Resorts’ plan to charge for parking: greed.

Jay Viernes

Las Vegas

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