Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Why "The T Word" Still Matters

In today's "newspaper", we see a list of education bills on the docket for the 77th session of the Nevada Legislature. There's a whole range of bills that will be considered. However, there's one key issue that's missing from the list.

Fortunately, one (more) lawmaker recently spoke up when discussing the next session with The Sun.

We need to have some serious conversations about education and it being adequately funded, and what that means. … Everyone always talks about how they are for education. You don’t ever find anyone who is against education. So what I tell people is the question should not be: Do you support education? The question should be: Do you support funding education? Because at the end of the day, that’s where the parties diverge. That’s where you’re either for education in action or you’re just about education in words. I think for a very long time we’ve been about education in words.

Now, how you go about actually ensuring that this gets done, that’s the million-dollar question. There is a finite amount of funds, and unless we talk about the topic we should’ve been talking about for a very long time, too, which is tax structure reform and dealing with our revenue issue, then we’re never really going to get to the answer (of the question): How do we actually make education a priority by funding it adequately?

And Assembly Member Lucy Flores (D-North Las Vegas) has a great point. It's easy for politicians to say they "support education". It's been more of a challenge for many of these politicians to put the money where their mouths are.

As we've been discussing this month, a growing number of Nevadans are demanding real solutions for real tax reform that delivers real revenue for our schools that really need it. Of course, the forces defending the status quo have been (mis)using the failure of the CCSD bond this month as an excuse not to pursue tax reform. And of course, they do so by downplaying both the mendacity of the CCSD administrators and the clear desire of the voters for better funded schools... And schools better funded by way of having the largest corporations doing business here pay their fair share.

As we approach the start of the 77th session, we'll be hearing more and more about how much our state legislators "support education". OK, that's fine and dandy. So how about actually supporting public education by properly funding it? It's time to bring back "The T Word".

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