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Nevada Assembly Committee on Education hears Senate Dems’ summer school bill

A woman with blonde hair, a green shirt, and a gray blazer speaks to a microphone in front of her.
Nevada State Legislature Via YouTube
Senator Marilyn Dondero Loop responds to a question during a hearing on SB 340 on May 9, 2023, in Carson City, Nev.

At a Tuesday afternoon meeting, the Nevada Assembly Committee on Education heard a bill that would require school districts and the State Public Charter School Authority to provide some summer school.

Senator Marilyn Dondero Loop of Las Vegas introduced a bill that would require districts to provide some summer school for their students in 2023 and 2024 to get them back up to speed.

According to the federal Institute of Education Statistics, school leaders, in a national survey, estimated that 49 percent of their students were behind at the start of the current school year due to pandemic-era learning loss.

The Assembly Education Committee heard the bill on Tuesday after passing the Senate in a 13 to 8 party-line vote.

“This bill helps to address student learning loss by requiring school districts to provide summer school. As we continue to understand the full impact that COVID-19 had on our communities, we know that many of our students experienced a decline in academic and social and emotional progress,” Dondero Loop said.

Summer school also helps reduce summertime learning loss, she said.

The bill requires districts to report their plans to the state Department of Education. The plan has to include language on how the district will specifically target students who need the extra help the most. It also instructs districts to provide transportation and meals for students.

At the end of each summer, the districts would also have to submit reports detailing how students who participated in the program improved.

As for the timeline of implementation, Dondero Loop said many school districts already have plans to move forward with summer school this year.

Dondero Loop and the rest of the Nevada Legislature passed a similar bill requiring summer school in all districts in the 2021 session on a similar timeline right before the end of the 2020-21 school year.

While much of the feedback was positive, some concerns did arise. Mary Pierczynski, who represents the Nevada Association of School Superintendents, expressed concern about possible summer school staffing issues.

“It’s also another issue about who can you get to come and work at summer school, because some teachers do not do summer school,” Pierczynski said.

Others, including Assemblywoman Alexis Hansen of Sparks, questioned the transportation requirement for charter schools given that they currently receive no funding from the state to pay for it. Dondero Loop countered that concern by noting that some funds from 2021’s AB 495 were specifically earmarked for summer school and remain available.

The bill must pass out of the education committee by May 19 to move on to the full Assembly.

The image included in this story is a screenshot from the Nevada State Legislature’s Assembly Committee on Education livestreamed meeting on Tuesday, May 9, 2023. Click here to view the recorded video on YouTube.

Jose Davila IV is a corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

Jose Davila IV reports on K-12 education with a focus on Latino students and families in Northern Nevada and the Eastern Sierra. He is also a first-year Report for America corps member. Es bilingüe, su familia es de Puerto Rico, y ama los tostones de su padre más que nada.
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