Education

Alexa Ard

Nevada's controversial school choice program lost its first court challenge last week. For the latest, we turn to Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey.

The Education Savings Account Program was supposed to begin doling out money to some 4,000 families in February. But last week a state court granted a preliminary injunction halting it.

"I suspect there will be a relatively lengthy legal process before this finally gets resolved," says Kim Metcalf, dean of the college of education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

He says what happens next is anyone's guess.

Washoe County School District

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt says the board of trustees for Washoe County Schools did break the state's open meeting law last March. 

At that meeting, board members approved a motion to hire Traci Davis as superintendent for the district. The problem is that they didn't inform the public that they would be taking that vote. 

Within mere hours, the board rescinded Davis's appointment. They ultimately hired Davis at their next meeting in April after including appropriate notification in that meeting's agenda. 

Judge Halts Nevada's School Choice Program

Jan 11, 2016
Alexa Ard

A judge has ordered a halt to Nevada's Education Savings Account program, just weeks before the state was to begin issuing money to families.

Carson City District Court Judge James Wilson granted a preliminary injunction on Monday that orders the state treasurer to stop implementing the accounts pending further court review. 

The Republican-backed program allows parents to claim more than $5,000 in state funds each year and use it for qualified education expenses, including religious-based private schools. 

Alexa Ard

A new law went into effect this month that now requires every school district in Nevada to provide performance-based bonuses to some of its teachers and administrators. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports.

Steve Canavero is interim superintendent of public instruction, and he says the main goal of this new law is to find and reward the right people.

State Officials Spat Over Third ESA Lawsuit

Jan 11, 2016
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Lt. Governor Mark Hutchison is firing back after other state officials have chastised him for filing a private lawsuit against the state’s Education Savings Account program. Our Contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno reports.

The ESA law was passed last year but is being contested in two lawsuits challenging its constitutionality. The program would allow families to receive state money to attend schools of their choice, including religious-based schools.

Alexa Ard

  

After years of being near the bottom of the barrel, Nevada has finally ranked dead-last nationally for its education system, based on an annual report released this week. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports.

The Quality Counts report now ranks Nevada at the very bottom, citing limited education funding, low amounts of college-educated parents and high rates of non-English speaking students.

School Funding Question To Appear On November Ballot

Jan 8, 2016
Alexa Ard

Washoe County voters can expect to see a school funding question on the ballot this year to help build new schools and repair crumbling ones. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports.

The Public Schools and Overcrowding Repair Needs Committee unanimously approved crafting a ballot measure to hike taxes in November.

Shaun Carey is chairman of the committee, which was formed by the legislature last year to tackle Washoe's grossly underfunded facilities.  

Alex Proimos / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

A new online tool is offering healthcare data that's broken down for each Nevada county. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman reports the database provides snapshots on how different counties compare on everything from their healthcare workforce to how many of their residents have health insurance.

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This week, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is starting a three-year, $600,000 research project to interview human trafficking victims ages 18 to 24.

Alexis Kennedy is a criminal justice professor at UNLV and will be conducting the interview. She says when victims are identified, they need an extensive web of services even after they age out of the system, including counseling, housing, and mentors.

"You can't live in the traumatic circumstance of being a trafficking victim and then, the second you turn 18, you're a healthy, functioning adult," says Kennedy. "

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Nearly 29 percent of medical residents are depressed compared to 16 percent of the general population. That startling finding was recently released in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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