Hope you have a relaxing and rewarding Spring Break!  For those who will be celebrating a “staycation” and are in the Reno-Sparks area we will have two events (one per week) for members and families/friends of public education to attend in Carson City.  Please feel free to email WEA President Natha Anderson (nathaanderson@sbcglobal.net) if you have any questions or concerns.

PUBLIC MONEY FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS: NSEA and WEA are committed to public education, our students, and communities. That’s why we believe public money needs to be invested in strong public schools to benefit every Nevada student. All Nevada students deserve a chance at success, and the proven way to accomplish this is through a well-funded public education, not a risky voucher program like the ESA private school vouchers.

#Publicmoneypublicschools rally will be held Monday, March 20 at 10:30 a.m. in Carson City in front of the Legislature.  NSEA President Ruben Murillo will be addressing the crowd about the importance of funding our public schools – not diverting the proposed $60 million into the flawed ESA-School Vouchers Program.

TOWN HALL ISSUES FORUM: For those who cannot make the drive to Carson there will be an Education Issue Forum in the Reno area.  Nevada’s Future will be sponsoring the Forum Sunday March 26 from 2-4 at The Discovery Museum in Reno.  The topics we are planning on discussing including:  Early Childhood Education, Public Schools Funding and Accessibility to Higher Education.  WEA President Natha Anderson will be a part of the panel discussion.

BETTER SCHOOLS THROUGH IMPROVED FUNDING: Nevada has no shortage of great ideas on ways in which we can improve— from increased engagement of student populations like English language learners, at-risk students, and students with disabilities, to an emphasis on literacy in early grades, to a focus on science, math, and technology to prepare students to be career ready in a new high-tech economy. We know we need to reduce class sizes and strengthen professional development to retain high quality educators. Unfortunately, all of these great ideas run into a problem of basic math. Nevada spends less per pupil than almost any other state.

In 2008, NSEA launched a campaign to raise the room tax for public education. Passed by the legislature with bipartisan support in 2009, IP1 was “intended to supplement the state’s education budget. However, our schools have never seen the benefit, as this money has been used in a shell game to help balance the state’s budget during tough times. Now out of the recession, and with incredible needs in public education, it’s time to use these funds for their original intended use.

On Tuesday, March 28 at 8:00 a.m. there will be a SB 180 hearing in the Senate Finance in Carson City.  Please attend and show support for increasing our public schools funding.

“Town Hall Meeting” Saturday April 8 from 10-11:30: On Saturday, April 8 WEA and NSEA will host a Town Hall forum with Senator Joyce Woodhouse (Chair of Senate Finance) and Assembly member Teresa Benitez-Thompson to discuss education issues.  Senator Woodhouse has requested we discuss Breakfast after the Bell and Read by 3 in particular.  Look for further details to come, but wanted to put it on people’s calendars early.