Gov. Sandoval’s proposal expands education reform |

Gov. Sandoval’s proposal expands education reform

Greg Bortolin
Gov. Brian Sandoval delivers his fourth and final State of the State address on Tuesday in the Nevada Legislature's Assembly Chambers.
Courtesy of Dr. Sandra Sheldon | Courtesy of Dr. Sandra Sheldon

The 2015 Nevada Legislature passed Governor Brian Sandoval’s sweeping education reform package that included 25 bills and an investment of $343 million to prepare students to meet the demands of the new Nevada economy.

“It’s critical that we stay the course on this education agenda,” said Steve Canavero, Ph.D., superintendent of Public Instruction. “2015 provided investments and appropriate accountability to ensure that every child will access all of his or her economic opportunities. The Governor and Legislature made clear that the system of yesterday did not produce the results our children deserve. We have made investments to build tomorrow’s K12 system and placed an emphasis on what matters — student safety and outcomes.”

The Governor’s 2017-19 proposed budget sustains and expands his bold reform package of 2015, building off of what works and being responsive to lessons learned from the first years of implementation so that students are served more effectively.

“I applaud the Governor’s commitment to K12 education and recognize that this recommended budget is the product of many difficult decisions”, Canavero said.

The Governor’s budget reflects an additional investment of roughly $120 million in the programs funded in 2015 that include Victory, Zoom, Special Education, Gifted and Talented Education, Read by Grade Three and Career and Technical Education. The Governor’s priorities remain as clear today as they were in 2015.

Canavero stressed that with increased funding comes accountability for results.

“As in 2015, these investments come with an obligation to perform, not next year but now,” Canavero said. “We must continue to hold ourselves accountable to ensure every child is prepared to meet the demands of the workforce that will drive the new Nevada economy.”

In his speech, the Governor said Nevada needed to secure a more prosperous Nevada for generations to come.

“My workforce agenda proposes removing those barriers, so that every student, in every classroom, has every opportunity to succeed,” Sandoval said.

Canavero said he truly believes the Governor’s agenda puts Nevada on course to become the fastest improving state in the nation.

Dr. Sandra Sheldon, Churchill County School District superintendent, attended the Governor’s State of the State address Tuesday.

“It is great to be able to participate in the democratic process,” Sheldon told the Lahontan Valley News. “I appreciate the support from Governor Sandoval for education. His goal to have schools align with industry to provide a workforce shows great foresight.”

Sheldon added she hopes the Legislature will continue to put public education first, as the future of Nevada relies on a highly educated workforce.

Sheldon said she’s excited the Career and Technical Education programs at Churchill County High School provide students with skills needed to acquire industry certifications and be successful in post-secondary programs through Nevada’s community colleges and universities.

“This is a great time to live in Nevada,” she said.

Some of the highlights of the Governor’s recommended budget that maintains funding levels from 2015 include:

• $42 million to expand Zoom programs into middle and high schools that greatly benefits English Learner students

• $30 million to increase the special education weight

• $30 million to expand Victory programs that includes funding to hire social workers, counselors, psychologists and behavior strategists

• $17 million to increase Read by Grade Three funding

• $4.3 million in additional funding for the Gifted and Talented program

• $2 million more for Career and Technical Education