Empowerment laws ignored

Patrick Gibbons

In case you missed the latest updates on Nevada’s empowerment schools (schools that control most of their own budget rather than having central office bureaucrats dictate how resources are to be used), NPRI revealed that both Washoe County School District and the Nevada Department of Education are ignoring laws requiring the creation of empowerment schools.

Unfortunately, ignoring state law is not a new phenomenon. A 2006 Legislative Counsel Bureau compliance audit of the Nevada Department of Education notes that the department had failed to comply with state and federal laws in the past. The audit found “…weaknesses allowed non-compliance with some state and federal laws, rules, regulations and guidelines, and monitoring of certain educational programs…”

Between FY 2001 and FY 2007, said auditors, the department failed to take adequate steps to oversee proper use of approximately $390 million in legislative appropriations. Laws establishing rules for revoking teacher certifications, including teachers who had become convicted criminals, were ignored, as were laws regarding employee evaluations.

We wonder, will anyone force the government to comply with its own rules?