Las Vegas, NV, May 7, 2015 – Education Law Center (ELC) is a founding partner with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and the Las Vegas-based Rogers Foundation in launching a new coalition with the goal of ensuring sufficient and equitable resources to provide educational opportunities to all public school students in Nevada.
The non-partisan Educate Nevada Now, ENN! will advocate to reform the Silver State’s school funding system to meet the needs of a modern Nevada and its school children, regardless of their geographic location, family means, or status in the community. ENN! plans to conduct research, raise public awareness, and propose policies to address funding and resource deficiencies and to ensure the effective use of resources in districts across the state.
For the last 18 months, ELC has partnered with advocates and attorneys to help develop and launch the ENN! coalition, along with the coalition’s agenda to overhaul Nevada’s severely inadequate and outmoded system of public school finance.
“ELC is excited to launch this initiative with our Nevada partners to address the compelling needs of the state’s students,” said ELC Executive Director David Sciarra. “Lawmakers, educators and parents have long recognized Nevada’s funding system is broken and must be reformed. Our goal is a new school funding formula based on the actual costs of delivering a quality educational opportunity to over 435,000 Nevada school children.”
Nevada’s education finance system earns F’s on the soon-to-be-released 4th edition of “Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card.” Because Nevada provides insufficient funding overall, does not provide extra funds for poor students, and fails to tap the state’s robust economic capacity to support public education, Nevada’s funding system ranks among the worst in the U.S. Not surprisingly, student outcomes and graduation rates are dismal, especially among the state’s fast growing English language learner (ELL) population.
The “Nevada Plan,” the State’s funding formula, was adopted in 1965. It fails to provide adequate foundation funding and adds no funding at all for the challenges of the growing poverty of the State’s students and the large population of students learning English. The State needs to design and implement a new school funding system that provides the opportunity to learn to all students.
“Adequate resources are so important for Nevada public school children,” said Rory Reid, President of The Rogers Foundation. “Adequate resources mean high quality teaching, effective programs for English language learners and a whole host of programs and services to boost student outcomes.”
In launching ENN!, ELC has worked closely with Mr. Reid and Beverly Rogers of the Rogers Foundation, along with Sylvia Lazos, a well-known legal and education consultant in Las Vegas.
ELC Staff Attorney Amanda Morgan, based in Las Vegas, is leading ELC’s participation in the ENN! coalition, along with ENN! Director of Outreach Stavan Corbett, a former Clark County School District Trustee.
Molly A. Hunter
Education Justice Director
973-624-1815, x 19
Director of Policy, Strategic Partnerships and Communications