Nevada's Education System Remains 'Elephant In The Room'

Feb 3, 2017

Nevada ranks first in the nation in job growth, according to a recent Gallup survey. But as Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports, state leaders say there’s still much work to be done.

Credit Alexa Ard

During Wednesday's Directions economic forum in downtown Reno, Nevada Lieutenant Governor Mark Hutchison reminded the 650 people in attendance just how far the state has come.

“In 2010, you were here. I was here. We lived in Nevada. We led the nation in unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy: the big three.”

Even though Nevada now ranks first in job creation, Hutchison says there’s still an elephant in the room.

“We need to continue to work on what is sort of holding us back as a state. And we all know this, there’s nothing secret about it. Everybody’s done a white paper on it, we’ve had discussions and debates, and we spent a whole session last session dealing with it—and that’s education,” the Lieutenant Governor says.

Auburn Harrison is the executive director of Communities in Schools, a nonprofit organization that works with high-risk students across Nevada. She says job opportunities actually encourage kids to graduate.

“The students we serve, some of them maybe didn’t have that sort of outlook like, ‘Oh there are jobs. If I graduate high school, it’s actually going to be attainable for me to get a good, high-paying job right here in this community and not have to leave.”

Education and economic development are sure to be major issues addressed during this year’s legislative session, which kicks off Monday.