Monday, March 21, 2011

Our Schools, Our Future

This is what happens when our state is dangerously close to trashing its own future.

More than 1,000 university and community college students from across the state rallied in front of the Nevada Capitol and the Legislature on Monday in protest of proposed cuts to higher education.

"If these cuts go through and the tuition rises, I won't be able to stay in school," said Becky Scott, a freshman at UNLV, who rode one of five busses overnight from Las Vegas.

Hundreds of students chanted "Come out Brian," in front of the Capitol, however, Gov. Brian Sandoval was not in his office Monday morning.

As we've talked about before, many thousands of students from throughout the state have begged Brian Sandoval and The Legislature to let them continue learning. Under Sandoval's proposed budget, entire departments are set to be eliminated from UNLV and UNR, UNLV will likely go bankrupt, and entire colleges, like Western Nevada College in Carson City and Nevada State College in Henderson, may be permanently closed. Now what would that say about our state planning ahead for a better economic future?

As I've repeatedly exclaimed here before, the ONLY way for Nevada to survive is for us to diversify our economy and bring in companies looking for an educated workforce. But as long as we continue to defund our schools, Nevada will be nothing other than a third world society slowly unraveling as casino conglomerates look elsewhere to profit off gambling going global.

This year's budget really is a life or death decision for Nevada. Will we decide on economic and social murder-suicide by way of destroying what little public infrastructure we have? Or will we choose life? Will we decide to build on that very public infrastructure that the vast majority of the private sector has told us is critical for them to do business here?

These aren't just students in Carson City today. This is the tipping point that may very well decide the life or death of Nevada. Do we want our state to live?

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