Nevada parents are anxious to see changes in education, according to a recent poll of Silver State residents.
Two-thirds of the more than 350 Nevadans queried said the idea of having their children attend a school other than their local public school was appealing.
Some 37 percent of parents polled were “very interested” in having their children attend an institution other than the one they were zoned for, 29 percent were “somewhat interested” and 8 percent said that their child is already attending a different school.
Just 4 percent of parents were “not interested at all” and 11 percent were “not too interested.” The final 12 percent did not know or had no opinion, according to the Jan. 19-26 survey.
A similar poll conducted by Nevada Policy last year revealed that 54 percent of those surveyed supported the “concept of education opportunity,” while 16 percent opposed it and 30 percent did not know or had no opinion.
The Silver State has different school options beyond public schooling, including private schools, homeschool, pod schools, micro-schools and charter schools.
Nevada currently administers Opportunity Scholarships, which benefit households with incomes at less than 300 percent of the poverty level, by partially reimbursing parents for the cost of sending children to private schools.
Gov. Joe Lombardo originally proposed during his State of the State address last month that he plans to provide $50 million for Opportunity Scholarships. His office now says that he wants funding to increase to $100 million in the 2025-2027 legislation biennium and double in the next two bienniums, before it reaches $500 million in fiscal year 2032.
When it comes to transparency in public schools, 55 percent of Nevada voters said they wanted more transparency regarding what is being taught. Nearly one-quarter believe that the same amount of transparency is needed, and only 3 percent believe that there should be less transparency. Finally, 18 percent of those polled did not know or had no opinion.
An example of concerns parents have with school transparency – or lack thereof – occurred last year when Clark County School District mother Kandra Evans attempted to read aloud to the CCSD School Board of Trustees an assignment given to her daughter’s class in May 2022 which contained sexually explicit content.
Evans said she was unaware of the graphic nature of the assignment, which she alleged her daughter was required to memorize and act out in front of her class. Evans made national headlines when she attempted to read the assignment to the CCSD board, but her microphone was cut off.
It’s not just Nevada parents who believe there should be more transparency in schools.
Public opinion pollster and political analyst Scott Rasmussen found last year that most voters around the country want increased curriculum transparency. He found that 84 percent of individuals polled wanted to be able to view all curriculum plans and materials, while only 12 percent opposed it.
The polls show that parents in the Silver State are eager for more options in education and want more transparency in what is being taught in public schools.