Strategic Legislative Advocacy
through this legislative session. We anticipate the work we are doing now will inform recommendations for the 2019 legislative session.
Nevada Succeeds’ provides a weekly update tracking the education legislation being discussed in Carson City and is often called upon to provide explanations, background and context for the bills as they are created, debated and voted on.
We’ve testified on several pieces of legislation during the current session, including Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) Expansion, Read by Grade Three and revisions to the state’s Weighted Funding Formula for schools.
Impact to Students: The legislation on which we’ve chosen to take a position is the work that we believe will have the most direct impact on our students.
The PAR Program speaks to our knowledge that professional collaboration is key to maximizing the human talent in our schools. By providing new and struggling teachers with dedicated mentors who are solely focused on their success, we not only strengthen the skills of teachers involved in the program, but we also reduce the chances of losing new teachers who need a little extra support to reach their full potential.
Read by Grade Three legislation is integral to the success of our education system because it focuses schools and teachers on the most important aspect of education at the early grade levels - literacy. If a child cannot read by the time he enters the third grade the chances of his graduating high-school drop dramatically. Further, illiteracy exponentially increases his chances of becoming an adult who has negative interactions with law enforcement, is on government assistance and/or is unable to hold a steady job, let alone have a successful career. This legislative session there has been activity around this program due to a need to make some changes after seeing the law in action. These changes to Read by Three help teachers more effectively implement the intent of the law so students can become more children proficient readers from the beginning of their school careers.
A review of the Weighted Funding formula will positively impact students by righting the imbalance currently rewarding longtime teachers for staying in the highest-performing and often least-challenged areas rather than using their experience to work with the students who need it most due to a lack of familial and economic support in their homes. Currently, our most-challenged students are all-too-often taught by our least-experienced teachers. By ensuring that the money follows the student, schools in our poorest and under-performing areas will have the funding to recruit and hire the high-quality, experienced teachers that they desperately need.
Rationale: Nevada Succeeds is only involved in advocating for legislation with a proven link to increased student achievement. We know that legislating educational reform at the state level is often not the best way to create long-term, lasting change. As such, our resources are best spent when strategically focusing on legislation that is necessary for real improvement.
Goal: To change the general conversation around education from being solely about school choice, teacher-accountability, and dollars to a more comprehensive discussion about the types of policy infrastructure support that produce a highly professionalized workforce that leads to high-performing and high-achieving school cultures.
Summary: The majority of the reforms Nevada Succeeds is advocating do not need to be, nor should they be affected