Edwards offers alternative to paying more for more of the same in education

Victor Joecks

Earlier today, the Senate Finance Committee and Assembly Ways and Means Committee approved around $600 million in new education spending. At the start of the meeting and in anticipation of all this new spending, Sen. Ben Kieckhefer said, “This is going to be a good day for education.”

His statement implied that no one else in Nevada or around the country had ever tried to increase student achievement by spending more money. Unfortunately, that’s been the same failing strategy used for the last 50 years. A legislature and governor will declare their intention to improve education by spending more and spend more they will. Then, when additional funding fails to improve student achievement, they’ll return in two years declaring their intention to improve education by …  spending more with previous spending increases and promises for accountability forgotten or ignored.

Today, there were three legislators Assemblywomen Jill Dickman and Robin Titus and Assemblyman Chris Edwards who took the lead in questioning many of these wasteful programs. Taxpayers should be grateful that these three folks also had the courage to vote against a number of these wasteful government programs.

Assemblyman Randy Kirner and Sen. Pete Goichocea also voted against at least one wasteful program.

Edwards, though, has gone even further, and on Friday proposed $1.5 billion in education spending reductions. Edwards proposes that school districts share in the cost of categorical spending, saving $250 million, changing hiring practices, which if combined with easing licensing restrictions, would open teaching up to a new pool of talent while saving millions and to fund classes at a 25-to-1 student to teacher ratio, which would save $650 million.

Liberals in the Establishment though aren’t interested in saving money. They’d rather ignore ways to improve education without spending more and impose the largest tax increase in Nevada history.

The only way to stop current wasteful spending and implement needed reforms is for 15 or more members of the Assembly to vote against tax increases and force Gov. Sandoval to compromise on his proposed spending plan. So far, Sandoval’s shown no willingness to compromise on his desire for a massive expansion of government, and unless 15 or more Assembly members oppose his massive tax increase, Sandoval and legislative leaders will be content to ignore proposals to reduce spending increases.

If you want to thank Edwards, Dickman and Titus for their courageous votes and urge them to keep standing strong against tax increases, their contact information is here:


Victor Joecks is the Executive Vice President at the Nevada Policy Research Institute, a nonpartisan, free market think tank.