Friday, November 15, 2013

What Can Be Done

This week, we've been jumping back into issues closer to home. And yes, there's one issue in particular that's raising our eyebrows and getting us thinking. Here's a hint: T. E. I.

We're not the only ones thinking about it. In a letter to the editor published in today's Las Vegas Sun, Las Vegas elementary school teacher Angie Sullivan summed up the sorry state of perhaps the most important part of Nevada's public infrastructure... And what must be done to fix it.

Nevadans should vote for the Teacher’s Education Initiative in one year. The initiative will tax businesses that profit $1 million or more.

For over a decade, Nevada’s public schools have been teaching, testing, reteaching, tutoring, testing, testing and failing as public schools endured $1 billion in cuts.

Some have tried to use teachers as scapegoats. This is very puzzling to those of us who serve above and beyond for the students. Frankly, teachers are struggling with too many needy students, not enough supplies, not enough support, and obstacles such as poverty.

Bottom line: We know our students are failing. We have data to prove this. We also know that Nevada does not fund our schools adequately.

This is what we've been saying here all along. What politicians in Carson City can't do is what voters must do. And The Education Initiative (TEI) finally gives voters the opportunity to do what must be done.

As usual, Ralston mourns the policy failures that have grown out of the dysfunctional politics of this state. And in quite a few aspects, he's right on the money. But now, we have a chance to move beyond mourning over what can't be done. We finally have a chance to seize what can be done.

So what can be done? Remember these three letters: T. E. I.

We've had it with the overcrowded schools, overburdened teachers, and underfunded public infrastructure. And yes, we've had it with the usual hand-wringing and empty rhetoric. We now have The Education Initiative on next year's general election ballot, and we know it can (and must!) be done.

If we want Nevada to succeed in building a better economy and a brighter future, we have to look beyond what hasn't been done and realize what must be done. Then, we have to recognize that it can be done. And of course, we then have to just do it already.

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