Among problematic education bills already introduced in the 2023 Nevada legislative session is one that would allow school districts to purchase housing for employees and another that would require school board candidates to be certified before running for office.
The 2023 legislative session, which began Monday, features several pieces of proposed legislation that could perpetuate government overreach in education and further drive up costs for taxpayers if passed.
This session looks to be an important one for education. Gov. Joe Lombardo announced during his State of the State address that he will introduce legislation to create the Office of School Choice inside the Department of Education in order to inform families about education options available to them.
Other measures proposed include $2 billion in new funding for K-12 students, which would represent an increase of nearly 300 percent from the $502 million passed in 2021, along with $50 million for Opportunity Scholarships, $730 million for the K-12 Education Stabilization Account and $60 million for pre-kindergarten opportunities.
“Every Nevada child has the right to a quality education and should be college or career ready by the time they graduate high school,” Lombardo said in his address.
While more education-related bills will be introduced this session, here are summaries and Nevada Policy’s positions on a handful of bills that have already been introduced:
AB42 would revise the provisions relating to classroom size ratios. This bill would set a maximum class cap for all grade levels and ensure school districts are spending money on class-size reduction efforts. Nevada Policy has previously recommended diverting funding from the class-size reduction programs as they are among one of the least cost-effective means of improving student achievement.
SB9 would increase the spending limit for leadership training, eliminate end-of-course finals and eliminate certain bureaucratic forms. Nevada Policy believes this bill would be counterproductive as eliminating end-of-course finals would cause schools to lose an objective metric for teacher evaluation and accountability.
SB47 would create the Public Education Employee Working Conditions Task Force and allow school districts to purchase housing for employees. Nevada Policy believes that school districts should not be issuing new general obligation bonds to construct socialized housing for teachers.
SB56 would create the Commission on School Modernization. The Commission would consist of the superintendent of schools of each school district, or whomever the superintendent designates, and it would elect a chair and vice chair at its first meeting. Nevada Policy believes this would be bad policy unless amended to include appointments by the governor.
SB65 would revise provisions relating to the boards of trustees of school districts. It would require candidates to receive certification from a school board governance organization before running for office. Nevada Policy finds that this places barriers on individuals, particularly those who might want to run for office against incumbents.
Keep up to date on education legislation with the Nevada Policy bill tracker. Select the “Topic” drop down button and choose “Education.” You can also use the “Take Action” button and contact lawmakers on the bills.
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