Alexa Ard

  The Washoe County School District is facing mounting pressure to address the surge of students expected over the next five years. As Reno Public Radio’s Julia Ritchey reports, the school’s Board of Trustees heard new proposals Monday on possible solutions.

With no money to make capital investments and a projected enrollment growth of almost 2 percent starting next year, the school district is in a time crunch.

That’s why it paid a Minneapolis consulting firm $25,000 to review the county’s overcrowding and capacity problems.

A Conversation: Keeping Rural Kids On Track To Graduate

Sep 25, 2015
Alexa Ard

Nevada's rural high schools face unique roadblocks when it comes to helping their students make it to graduation and beyond. To learn more, Brent Boynton from our public media partner KNPB reached out to Adam Young, the principal at White Pine High School in Ely. Here's their conversation.  


Young's district has a graduation rate higher than 90%. He says that one of the positives about rural education is making one-on-one connections with students. 

"With all the challenges of rural education," Young said, "that is the beauty of it." 


Truckee Meadows Community College will use a $4.3 million gift to help high school students prepare for jobs in what is shaping up to be a demanding technical industry in northern Nevada. Reno Public Radio’s Esther Ciammachilli has that story.

The grant is the largest gift TMCC has ever received. The money will allow the school to inaugurate the Technical Pathway program and begin the second phase of renovations to the Edison site, the school’s center for technical training.

Alexa Ard


School choice is a phrase you’ve been hearing a lot lately as Nevada rolls out its education savings account program, which gives parents funds for alternative schooling. Debates over the program are highlighting broader issues in education funding.  To begin with, the Nevada State Plan, which governs school funding in the state, hasn’t actually been updated since 1967.



Education Savings Accounts: Get The Facts, Fast!

Sep 3, 2015
Gabriella Benavidez

There's a lot of information, and confusion, surrounding Nevada's new Education Savings Account program. To get the lowdown, check out our handy infographic:

Alexa Ard

Although some in the state legislature are selling Nevada’s new education savings account program as a benefit for low-income students, many Washoe County families don't see it as a realistic option for them.

I wanted to see if parents and students at Reno's low-income public schools had heard of the ESA program, and what they thought of it. So I hit the streets just as school was letting out.

“Have you heard about the Education Savings Account program in Nevada?”


“No, sorry me no.”

“Have you heard about the Education Savings Account program?”

Alexa Ard

Excitement is building around Nevada’s Education Savings Account (ESA) Program, which will give eligible families about $5,000 a year to subsidize their child’s private or home school education. 

But as the application process gets underway, many parents are also voicing a lot of confusion and frustration. For the latest on the situation, Reno Public Radio’s News Director Michelle Bliss reached out to State Treasurer Dan Schwartz whose office is running the program. 

Alexa Ard

  This week our news team is taking an in depth look at the state's new Education Savings Account program in a five-part series called Nevada's Gamble on School Choice. To kick things off, our reporter Julia Ritchey tells us how private school parents are at arms over one of the most controversial elements of the law: the so-called 100-days rule. 

Anh Gray

Washoe County School District officials painted a bleak picture Friday of the future of repair and construction needs to a newly formed committee on public school overcrowding. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey was there and has this report.

The average age of a Washoe County public school is 39 years old and $25 million a year is the minimum needed for repairs and renovations to the district's crumbling infrastructure.

Julia Ritchey

  Nevada Treasury officials heard from a crowd of frustrated and confused private school parents during a hearing Friday on the state's new Education Savings Account program. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey was there.

More than three dozen parents spoke during public comment to air grievances about a key provision of the new program known as the 100-day rule.

Again and again, their concerns sounded like this:

"I implore you once again to examine legislative intent with regard to the 100 days," said parent Bri Thorson.