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Nevada receives ‘F’ in report on state legislative support for public education

The map shows that Nevada and 16 other states received an “F” score.
Courtesy of the Network for Public Education
Map from the Network for Public Education showing how states scored in its “Public Schooling in America” report published in February 2024.

Nevada received an “F” in a new national report that examines state legislative support for public education but scored highly in one section.

The “Public Schooling in America report released in February looks at four criteria, including charter school regulations and voucher program limitations, teacher pay, and protections for homeschooled kids and students in the classroom.

Carol Burris, the executive director of the New York-based nonprofit Network for Public Education, which issued the report, explained what contributed to Nevada’s low score.

“Where it lost most of its points was one, its very lax charter school laws. The fact that it does have a voucher program,” Burris said. “Then on funding, teacher salaries. The gap between your high-poverty districts and your low-poverty districts is huge.”

In a written statement to KUNR, Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager highlighted some changes from the 2023 legislative session, including “passing a historic and unprecedented 25% increase in the public education budget … legislation to provide teachers with substantial pay raises … All while rejecting the Governor’s proposed additional funding for voucher programs.”

There is one area Nevada scored positively in — protections for students in the classroom, Burris said.

“We didn’t see any pattern where Nevada, for example, was banning books to any great extent,” Burris said. “Your bullying laws were pretty good and comprehensive. And you did ban corporal punishment.”

However, Yeager did acknowledge that there is more work to do.

Lucia Starbuck is an award-winning political journalist and the host of KUNR’s monthly show Purple Politics Nevada. She is passionate about reporting during election season, attending community events, and talking to people about the issues that matter most to them.