The mission to improve schools just got tougher | NevadaAppeal.com

The mission to improve schools just got tougher

If there is a universal and nonpartisan view about Nevada’s schools, it’s that they’re in need of improvement. The only thing in question seemed to be how to accomplish that. The 2007 Legislature put two methods in place to put the state on a journey out of the cellar of national rankings – all-day kindergarten and school empowerment.

Now it’s possible both will be put on hold after the governor ordered 4.5 percent cuts in public education.

The mission for state schools could well become “maintain,” rather than “improve.” That would be a respectable goal in most states, but it’s hardly a selling point to say Nevada’s schools may be among the worst, but at least they’re not declining any further.

The cuts are an inescapable outcome of a sluggish economy, but we hold out hope that school officials can make the cuts without further damaging the quality of education in the state.

While superintendents will doubtlessly feel plenty of pain, there are many children and seniors, including nursing home patients, who – because of the education cuts – won’t feel the impact as greatly as before in their health insurance.

Maybe the most positive outcome from the governor’s announcement last week is that he indicated, finally, that the state’s rainy=day fund is no longer off limits.

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If there were any doubt it’s raining in Nevada, the proposed school cuts removed them last week.

• This editorial represents the views of the Nevada Appeal editorial board.