Parnell says Gibbons should tour schools too |

Parnell says Gibbons should tour schools too

Appeal Capitol Bureau

Assemblywoman Bonnie Parnell, D-Carson City, on Friday urged Governor Jim Gibbons to tour Carson area schools, similar to the tour he took this week of prisons.

“Our schools are as overcrowded as our prisons,” said Parnell, chairwoman of the Assembly Education Committee.

She suggested he start with Carson High School, which, she said, is seriously overcrowded, and Empire Elementary School, an at-risk school in need of added resources.

Parnell said she hopes the tour would renew Gibbons’ commitment to help lawmakers put more new money into Nevada’s public school system.

“The funding for new enhancements in the governor’s proposed education budget is a fraction of what he is proposing in new money for other projects, including prisons,” Parnell said. “We need a redirection of priorities.”

Parnell agreed Nevada must resolve prison overcrowding. But, she said, experts have presented ways to do so without the large sums of money proposed by the governor.

“The best way to solve our prison problem in the long term is through prevention, and nothing is more important to keeping young people from turning to a life of crime than providing them a good education that prepares them for today’s workforce,” she said.

“It costs far less to educate a child than it does to incarcerate a criminal,” she said.

Parnell was a classroom teacher for 26 years and a former Nevada State Parent-Teacher Association president.