Education

Julia Ritchey

The Washoe County committee charged with crafting a ballot question to raise $781 million for school infrastructure will make its final recommendation next Friday. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey has more.

The Public Schools Overcrowding and Repair Needs committee is considering two options to put to voters this fall.

The first would raise sales tax from 7.7 percent to about 8.3 percent, which would make it the highest in the state.

The second option would raise sales tax a little less, along with a boost in property taxes.

Amber Joiner / Twitter

The Washoe County School District held its annual State of Education address Monday night, and announced a major grant for local schools. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick was there and has more.

Traci Davis took the stage for the first time as permanent superintendent. And she used her opportunity to share some big news.

“Stacie Mathewson, founder and CEO of the non-profit, Transforming Youth Recovery, has announced [that] she intends to fund a 13-year project with $1 million per year.”

Rainshadow Community Charter High School

The 113 students at Rainshadow Community Charter High School in Reno will get to continue their courses this spring despite the school's teetering finances. The Washoe County School Board voted Wednesday to keep the facility open--at least for right now. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman has the story.

In order to avoid a large deficit this spring, the school has proposed slashing salaries by 16% and cutting three positions. The changes will keep the school just slightly in the black, but there are risks.

Lottritz Family / hlottritz.wordpress.com

Hanna Lottritz is a journalism student at the University of Nevada, Reno and she recently wrote an essay that has gone viral. It’s called “Why I won’t be taking shots on my 21st birthday" and it candidly shares the story of how Hanna ended up in a coma after a night of drinking in Yerington.

Hanna stopped by KUNR to talk with our news director Michelle Billman about what happened.

While out with a group of friends at the Night In The Country Music Festival in Yerington last summer, Hanna joined in on a drinking contest. 

Nevada To Hire 160 School Social Workers

Jan 17, 2016
bullyfreezone.nv.gov

State officials have awarded $5.6 million in grants to hire more than 160 social workers and mental health professionals in Nevada schools.

The awards are part of a broad anti-bullying initiative coordinated by Nevada's new Office for a Safe and Respectful Learning Environment.

Eleven districts and six charter schools received funding. Students were recently surveyed on the health of their school climate, and awards were based in part on which schools needed the most intervention.

Alexa Ard

Nevada's controversial school choice program lost its first court challenge last week. For the latest, we turn to Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey.

The Education Savings Account Program was supposed to begin doling out money to some 4,000 families in February. But last week a state court granted a preliminary injunction halting it.

"I suspect there will be a relatively lengthy legal process before this finally gets resolved," says Kim Metcalf, dean of the college of education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

He says what happens next is anyone's guess.

Washoe County School District

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt says the board of trustees for Washoe County Schools did break the state's open meeting law last March. 

At that meeting, board members approved a motion to hire Traci Davis as superintendent for the district. The problem is that they didn't inform the public that they would be taking that vote. 

Within mere hours, the board rescinded Davis's appointment. They ultimately hired Davis at their next meeting in April after including appropriate notification in that meeting's agenda. 

Judge Halts Nevada's School Choice Program

Jan 11, 2016
Alexa Ard

A judge has ordered a halt to Nevada's Education Savings Account program, just weeks before the state was to begin issuing money to families.

Carson City District Court Judge James Wilson granted a preliminary injunction on Monday that orders the state treasurer to stop implementing the accounts pending further court review. 

The Republican-backed program allows parents to claim more than $5,000 in state funds each year and use it for qualified education expenses, including religious-based private schools. 

Alexa Ard

A new law went into effect this month that now requires every school district in Nevada to provide performance-based bonuses to some of its teachers and administrators. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports.

Steve Canavero is interim superintendent of public instruction, and he says the main goal of this new law is to find and reward the right people.

State Officials Spat Over Third ESA Lawsuit

Jan 11, 2016
www.stockmonkeys.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Lt. Governor Mark Hutchison is firing back after other state officials have chastised him for filing a private lawsuit against the state’s Education Savings Account program. Our Contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno reports.

The ESA law was passed last year but is being contested in two lawsuits challenging its constitutionality. The program would allow families to receive state money to attend schools of their choice, including religious-based schools.

Alexa Ard

  

After years of being near the bottom of the barrel, Nevada has finally ranked dead-last nationally for its education system, based on an annual report released this week. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports.

The Quality Counts report now ranks Nevada at the very bottom, citing limited education funding, low amounts of college-educated parents and high rates of non-English speaking students.

School Funding Question To Appear On November Ballot

Jan 8, 2016
Alexa Ard

Washoe County voters can expect to see a school funding question on the ballot this year to help build new schools and repair crumbling ones. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports.

The Public Schools and Overcrowding Repair Needs Committee unanimously approved crafting a ballot measure to hike taxes in November.

Shaun Carey is chairman of the committee, which was formed by the legislature last year to tackle Washoe's grossly underfunded facilities.  

Alex Proimos / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

A new online tool is offering healthcare data that's broken down for each Nevada county. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman reports the database provides snapshots on how different counties compare on everything from their healthcare workforce to how many of their residents have health insurance.

Imagens Evangélicas / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

This week, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is starting a three-year, $600,000 research project to interview human trafficking victims ages 18 to 24.

Alexis Kennedy is a criminal justice professor at UNLV and will be conducting the interview. She says when victims are identified, they need an extensive web of services even after they age out of the system, including counseling, housing, and mentors.

"You can't live in the traumatic circumstance of being a trafficking victim and then, the second you turn 18, you're a healthy, functioning adult," says Kennedy. "

Dr. Farouk / creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Nearly 29 percent of medical residents are depressed compared to 16 percent of the general population. That startling finding was recently released in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Alexa Ard

The University of Nevada, Reno is getting a new fine arts building. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports.

With approval from the Board of Regents for the Nevada System of Higher Education earlier this month, UNR can now move forward with planning and construction. The school has already raised more than $19 million dollars from private donors to cover the $20 million price tag, but enough about money.

Waterline Break Floods Pine Middle School

Dec 28, 2015
Julia Ritchey

After a waterline break at Pine Middle School flooded nearly the entire first floor, Washoe County school officials are scrambling to come up with a contingency plan. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey reports.

Maintenance crews discovered that a 4-inch valve disconnected above the cafeteria on Saturday, inundating the school with water while students were out on holiday break.

Chief facilities management officer Christopher Cobb listed the damages.

Washoe County School District

The Washoe County School Board recently approved a controversial contract for first-time Superintendent Traci Davis, which has drawn a lot of negative attention. And now the local Republican Party is looking for contenders to unseat school board members who voted to approve it. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reached out to both sides in order to sort this issue out.

It’s True: Books Do Make You Smarter

Dec 15, 2015
Alexa Ard

A recent study, conducted in part by University of Nevada, Reno researchers, gives us proof of what we’ve already long assumed: owning books actually makes us smarter. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports. 

For this study, researchers analyzed standardized test scores of children in 42 different nations and learned that kids who have books at home do better on tests, regardless of their country’s development, political history or ideology.

Business and construction are booming in Reno, and that means even more students for the already-overcrowded Washoe County School District. In the latest installment in our Bursting At The Seams series, we break down the complex relationship between economic development and local schools.

    

Each new home built in Washoe County generates a certain amount of capital improvement funds for the school district. But spokesman Riley Sutton says when you do the math, the numbers don't add up.

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