Education advocates react to report ranking NV 44th in spending per student

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Education advocates react to report ranking NV 44th in spending per student

Education advocates say new federal numbers on Nevada's education spending point to the need for more revenue.

A survey conducted by the federal Education Department ranks Nevada 44th in the nation in education spending per student. In 2011, Nevada spent an average of about 8,400 dollars per student. That's about 2,200 dollars less than the national average.

Gary Peck is the executive director of the Nevada State Education Alliance (NSEA), which is the group behind the 2014 ballot measure to raise taxes on businesses to fund education. He says the state's education budget is down about 700 million dollars from what it was when Governor Jim Gibbons was in office.

"So no one should be deluded into believing that somehow Governor Brian Sandoval has pumped all this money into our K-12 system."

Peck says everyone knows the kind of programs that help raise student performance, such as class size reduction, early childhood education and English language leaner programs. Many of those Sandoval called for in his State of the State Speech, but Peck says, until the tax structure is changed, Nevada will continue to fall behind.

A spokesperson for Governor Sandoval says "education has long been one of his priorities and, in fact, his budget education spending increased by nearly half a billion dollars." That budget puts about 380 million dollars toward class size reduction and another 50 million toward English language learner programs, among other initiatives.

Nevada experienced a major decline in state and local tax revenue during 2011. There was about an 800 dollar drop in revenue collected per student from 2010 to 2011.

About 60 percent of revenue for education came from local taxes, while about 32 percent came from state taxes. About 8,400 dollars in revenue was collected for each student in 2011.

For the full report go here.