K-12 Funding Making Headlines

Once again Nevada was given an “F” in school finance proving it ranks among the most unfair to students according to the 2018 National Report Card released this week by the Education Law Center and Rutgers School of Education. "We continue to rank in the bottom for K-12 funding while our students and teachers continue to be asked to go for so long with so little. It’s no wonder we are not performing well academically", said Jenn Blackhurst, president of HOPE for Nevada. "This is why we started the Fund Our Future coalition, to demonstrate that Nevada's communities are united in an effort to stop shortchanging our students and provide them with the resources they deserve." Earlier this month, HOPE for Nevada, in partnership with Educate Nevada Now and teachers, students and education advocates throughout the entire state launched the Fund Our Future Nevada coalition to campaign for increased funds for Nevada’s K-12 schools. Other notable findings from the report highlight Nevada’s failure to fund in categories that include fiscal effort, funding distribution and funding levels.

  • Nevada was ranked among the most regressive states when it comes to funding distribution for students in high poverty areas. Nevada students in high poverty areas received less than 75 cents for every dollar received by their low-poverty counterparts.

  • When it comes to fiscal effort, Nevada was one of a handful of states that scored poorly on both measures of local and state spending on education in relation to a state’s ability to generate revenue. The measures were based on the state’s economic productivity and aggregate personal income.

  • Nevada ranked toward the bottom in the Level of Funding category with the 8th lowest funding level at $7,485, per the report.

  • Nevada was one of only four states that earned an “F” and scored poorly on all measures except coverage.

The National Report Card uses data from the 2015 Census fiscal survey, the most recent available. “Nevada has been bouncing back successfully since the recession in job growth, real estate, tourism and gross domestic product, it’s time we shift our focus on ensuring the same level of progress for our students,” said Sylvia Lazos, policy director for Educate Nevada Now (powered by The Rogers Foundation). Nevada did perform well in the Coverage category which measures the share of school-aged children enrolled in public schools compared to private schools. “The NRC released today is a sobering reminder of why unfair school funding is the most significant obstacle to improving outcomes for our nation’s public school students,” said David Sciarra, Education Law Center Executive Director and report co-author in a press release. “The stark reality is most states still fund their public schools based on pure politics, not on the cost of delivering quality education to all students.”

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