In case you missed it…

John Tsarpalas

Anniversary Dinner (September 17th, in Las Vegas)

Dennis Prager — best-selling author, columnist and nationally syndicated radio talk show host — will be Nevada Policy’s keynote speaker at the Institute’s Anniversary Dinner on September 17th, at the Venetian in Las Vegas! Prager is the founder of Prager University, and his radio show is heard by over two-million listeners on 150 stations across the country! The evening is bound to be fantastic, so be sure to reserve your tickets before we run out of seats! (Click here to learn more, or to register.)

 

Clark County teacher strike

News broke this week that the Clark County School District has freed up enough money to possibly avert a potential teacher strike. The budget standoff between the district and the union has, apparently, led some education-establishment insiders to see the need for serious labor reforms in Nevada. Jason Goudie, the district’s chief financial officer, succinctly explained how increased funding for education simply hasn’t translated into better education, thanks to unions: “As soon as you put a billion dollars into (the education) system, that becomes a billion dollars available for collective bargaining.” (Read more)

 

Education spending

Given the talk of a teacher strike in Clark County, teacher pay has become a major point of contention in Nevada politics. Given that everyone wants to ensure teachers are paid fair and reasonable salaries for educating the next generation, it’s worth asking “are teachers underpaid?” Well, the answer isn’t a simple yes or no. As the free market think tank AEI explains, the best teachers are underpaid. Collective bargaining has resulted in a system where underperforming teachers are significantly overpaid, at the expense of teachers who are truly gifted. (Watch the video)

 

Educational choice

In the last legislative session, Democrats managed to severely restrict and reduce Nevada’s only private educational choice program, Opportunity Scholarships. Thus, we are now seeing the damaging impact the party’s actions are having in low-income communities, where families are seeing scholarships ripped away. Zuleika Parra learned just before classes were set to begin this year that — thanks to changes lawmakers made to the law this year — the scholarship with which she’d been able to send her child to a quality school was being canceled. “My first reaction was to cry,” she said in Spanish during a recording of the Cafecito con Luz y Michelle radio program. “How do you explain to a child that you don’t have the money to pay for the school that he wants?” (Read more)

 

Government overreach

This week marked yet another Burning Man festival on the Black Rock playa in northern Nevada. Despite taking place in an unbelievably desolate and barren location — and having a tremendous record of responsible land use in previous years — the Bureau of Land Management has recently made absurd demands in exchange for a land-use permit for future festivals. Using “environmental concerns” as cover for overregulating the annual event, the BLM’s most recent list of conditions demonstrates a tremendous level of government micromanaging. Given the festival’s distinctly anti-authority and even libertarian vibe, the BLM’s actions are bound to give the Burning Man’s planners plenty to fume about. (Read more)

 

Fiscal and taxes

Nevada has long prided itself on being a low-tax state, but every legislative session we seem see new “temporary” taxes, new government spending and an ever-increasing list of ways government plans to separate us from our hard-earned money. So, here’s a quick reminder of where we come from, as a state:

John Tsarpalas

John Tsarpalas

President

John Tsarpalas is the President of the Nevada Policy Research Institute, and is deeply committed to spreading limited government ideas and policy to create a better, more prosperous Nevada for all.

For over three decades, John has educated others in the ideals and benefits of limited government. In the 1980s, John joined the Illinois Libertarian Party and served on its State Central Committee. Later in the 90s, he transitioned to the Republican Party, and became active in the Steve Forbes for President Campaign and flat taxes.

In 2005, he was recruited to become the Executive Director of the Illinois Republican Party where he graduated from the Republican National Committee’s Campaign College, the RNC’s Field Management School, and the Leadership Institute’s activist training.

Additionally, John has served as President of the Sam Adams Alliance and Team Sam where he did issue education and advocacy work in over 10 states, with a focus on the web.

John also founded or helped start the following educational not-for-profits: Think Freely Media, the Haym Salomon Center – where he served as Chairman, the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity and Midwest Speaking Professionals.

A native of Chicago, John now lives in Las Vegas with his wife of 38 years. They have three daughters, and in his spare time, John enjoys trap shooting (while he still has the right!), fishing and public speaking.