FORD & FRIERSON STATEMENT ON SENATE PASSAGE OF EDUCATION BUDGET

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 1, 2017

FORD & FRIERSON STATEMENT ON SENATE PASSAGE OF EDUCATION BUDGET

CARSON CITY - Today, the Nevada Senate approved an education budget, Senate Bill 544, that funds Nevada’s public school system without funding for private school vouchers. During consideration of the bill, Senate Republicans fled the Legislative Building and failed to vote on the K-12 education budget. Senate Bill 544 passed 12-0 with all Democrats and one Independent in support. 

Senate Majority Leader Aaron D. Ford and Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson issued the following joint statement:

“Over the past several weeks we have attempted to maintain an open dialogue and good-faith negotiations with Republicans working towards what we hoped could be a bipartisan compromise on education funding. Unfortunately, time and time again Republicans have undermined these discussions by moving the goalposts and refusing to meet us halfway. Our Democratic majorities in both chambers have said loud and clear from day one that we believe in keeping public dollars in public schools. We continue to have deep concerns about how diverting public money to subsidize wealthy families would weaken our education system and threaten our children’s future.

“Our next step must be to move forward where we can agree and pass an education budget that funds our public schools, including key investments in improving college and career readiness, turning around low-performing schools, and enhancing teaching and support for gifted students, young English-language learners and kids with special needs. It’s our sincere hope that the Republicans will not play politics with this critical school funding.”

On Monday, Democratic Assemblyman Justin Watkins offered a $30 million compromise proposal on the controversial issue of school vouchers that would have provided meaningful choice for more of Nevada’s families. The proposal would have instituted an income-based sliding scale to ensure money went to students with the highest needs, prioritized at-risk and lower-performing kids, and set reasonable eligibility and accountability standards. The proposal also would have required that schools comply with Nevada’s anti-discrimination and anti-bullying laws. Republicans rejected the proposal outright.

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