Could This Happen In Nevada?

Giant school districts sometimes make poor choices. Such is the case in this report from MSNBC on how a school district – just four slots larger than the Clark County School District on the list of America’s most giant school districts – is paying over 700 teachers to not do any work. Paying them in full, with full benefits, summers off, the whole nine years.

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$500K in school funding up in smoke

This will make you sick:

“I don’t know what their ultimate qualifications are. I just know they cost us $15.76 an hour right now,” said Paul Gerner, associate superintendent for the school district’s facilities division.

During the last school year, the district spent almost half a million dollars on fire guards.

Channel 13 Action News broke the story. You can bet it wasn’t Jim Rogers’ channel 3!

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That’s Incredible!

Here’s the tale of how Clark County School District bureaucrats managed to blow a charitable contribution in seven figures. The money has since been donated the UNLV (one million) and Temple Beth Sholom (another million).

Fortunately, no school district bureaucrats lost their jobs over the fiasco.

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Nevada Government Economist Tells Half Truths

This morning’s Las Vegas Sun featured a guest column from state government economist Elliot Parker. In his column, Parker lays out his case for more tax hikes, which will be required to hire more government employees and give them higher wages. You can read his column here.

Parker’s column essentially says Nevada’s people have been terribly chinzy when it comes to funding government, particularly as compared to other states. It would be a mistake, he implies, to not raise taxes and further expand government.

As an economist, …

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Judge Reduces Education Funding

Las Vegas Judge Valorie Vegas has awarded $340-thousand to a company who lost a school district contract. The company provided online classes and tests that teachers could take to get raises, but lost the contract after school district administrators decided the classes were too easy. It’s feelings hurt, it sued. Judge Vegas gave them the money – right out of our classrooms.

The school district is suing, according to coverage in the Review Journal.

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Public School Costs Surprise Most

William G. Howell, associate professor in the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, and Martin R. West, assistant professor of education at Brown University, found that most people are off by half when asked to guess how much they and their fellow taxpayers spend on government schools.

In sum, Americans think that far less is being spent on the nation’s public schools than is actually the case. The vast majority of the public thinks we spend amounts that can only be described …

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Empowerment Schools

One bright spot on the Clark County School District horizon is the concept of empowerment schools. Pilot programs have proven very successful.

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Consultants @ $300/hr

The Clark County School District pays $300 per hour for advice. Details here.

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Nevada Per-Student Funding Ranks 37th

Nevada’s ranking on K-12 spending is not simple to calculate, nor without controversy

We actually rank 37th in education spending – at least we ranked 37th for the 2004/2005 school year anyway. That is the latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics run by the federal government. This is a source that seems far more believable than local advocates. (In the two school years since 04/05, Nevada‚Äôs per-pupil education spending has been increased faster than the national average increase, so our ranking is likely …

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Full-Day Kindergarten

Many experts, including the Rand Institute in this recent, extensive research report, say full-day kindergarten does not improve students’ long-term learning accomplishment. Some studies claim to measure a short-term improvement, but by the time children are in high school, there is no measurable improvement in academic achievement.

But it became a political issue in the 2005 and 2007 legislative sessions. The outcome was earmarked state funding for full-day kindergarten in schools where more than half of the children were eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch (such …

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