Focusing on education reform |

Focusing on education reform

Educators are curious about President Obama’s proposal made last week that a community college education should be free.

In order to accomplish this task may cost upward to $60 billion over a 10-year period. While the feds will pour in the majority of money, the president proposes the state’s each chip in 25 percent.

Recent national polling shows a majority of taxpayers do not favor a free ride for students seeking their first two years of coursework, while 37 percent say it’s a good idea.

The president, however, said he will offer details at next week’s State of the Union address.

The idea of increasing community college enrollment appears tantalizing, something both the presidents of Truckee Meadows Community College and Western Nevada College, which has a campus in Fallon, both admit; however, the president has dangled his proverbial carrot until he offers more details.

The price tag seems exorbitant, and we wonder where the money will come from considering Republicans control both chambers of Congress, and lawmakers are trying to reduce overall spending. If Congress passes no new spending, then which programs will suffer reductions or elimination?

We are leery of new government programs considering the feds roll out too many programs — i.e. Obamacare — with too many hidden flaws. The president says his idea is modeled after one in Tennessee, which bring us to another point. Should programs like this be best left to the states rather than to the overreaching, heavily bureaucratic tentacles of the federal government?

The president also says states that opt in do so by providing one fourth of the cost. States including Nevada, though, would be hard pressed to contribute since the Economic Forum predicts a major shortfall in the budget.

While President Obama pitches his latest education reform 2,500 miles away from Nevada, Gov. Brian Sandoval will focus on education during his State of the State address on Thursday. Although the LVN has not taken a stand at this time because we are looking to see how the pros and cons play out, we would strongly encourage the governor and both the Assembly and state Senate to revisit Common Core to see if it is the best program for Nevada’s students. Sandoval, Department of Education Superintendent Dale Erquiaga and Churchill County Schools Superintendent Sandra Sheldon support Common Core.

Informational meetings are taking place this week including a Fallon meeting tonight to inform the general public about Common Core standards — pros and cons.

Since its roll out, three states have scrapped Common Core — the latest being South Carolina — and a dozen more states are looking at either reforming or rejecting it. We have heard too many teachers in Fallon complain that they are teaching to tests. After all, they are in the trenches, and their voices must be heard.

Editorials written by the LVN Editorial Board appear on Wednesdays.