January 23, 2008
Washington, DC—Nevada Senator Harry Reid today unveiled his priorities for improving education in Nevada during a conference call with students and education reporters from the Silver State. This is his second issue Reid has highlighted this week in a week-long rollout of top priorities for Nevada."We all need to work hard to make sure our students are prepared for the global economy," said Reid. "It starts by overhauling No Child Left Behind so we focus on good teaching, instead of just teaching to the test. We need to address Nevada's disproportionate high school dropout rate. And, we need to build off the work we did last year to make a college education more affordable and accessible for every Nevadan."Below are some of the Reid's proposals to improve education in Nevada.A New Approach for No Child Left Behind
The Senate draft of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) reauthorization includes two provisions on high school reform and school dropouts championed by Reid:
The GRADUATES Act, which would create a funding source for innovation and reform at the middle and high school level, is included in the newly-created high school title.
Reid also co-sponsored the Graduation Promise Act, which would provide grants to low-performing high schools to develop effective strategies for reducing high dropout rates.
Reid will work to overhaul NCLB by moving away from the punitive "pass/fail" accountability system, to one that recognizes improvement and individual student growth. He will also work to ensure less emphasis on standardized tests, with more focus on other indicators of student achievement, and more flexibility for English-language learners and special education students.
Reid will address the flawed funding formula for Title III, which funds programs for English-language acquisition. Currently, annual Census surveys are used to count English-language learners, which have proven to be reflective of Nevada's actual ELL population. After consultation with ELL coordinators across Nevada, Reid will push for a more equitable formula that would average Census data with annual state counts.
Continuing Tax Relief for College Tuition
Reid will continue to push for the extension of the deduction for college tuition. This $4,000 deduction ($2,000 for couples with incomes between $130,000 and $160,000) expired on December 31, 2007.
Building and Renovating Nevada's School Facilities
Reid will work with the Senate Finance Committee on legislation that would provide federal assistance and tax benefits for school districts to help with the high costs of construction and renovation.
RenoBruce R. Thompson
Courthouse & Federal Bldg
400 S. Virginia St, Suite 902
Reno, NV 89501
Washington DC522 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
Toll Free for Nevadans:
Carson City600 East William St, #304
Carson City, NV 89701
Phone: 775-882-REID (7343)
Las VegasLloyd D. George Building
333 Las Vegas Boulevard
South, Suite 8016
Las Vegas, NV 89101