Tuesday’s education forum at the College of Southern Nevada with Education Secretary Duncan was a great event. I’m all in favor of putting time into these kinds of events, as long as they help promote awareness and educate the public about our eduction crisis in Nevada.
However, the simple truth is that we can’t do much without more funding. The more plain truth is that we can’t raise the capital needed for our education system until we create the political capital. The conversation held by the community leaders at this forum is the type of hype we need more of. While I see no point in criticizing the event for being “all talk,” in reality that’s all it is for now. But hopefully it will help to trigger more public outcry about the education issue in Nevada. There’s always hope. For the short term, some federal aid is possible, and would be helpful. That said, Nevadans must take it upon themselves to make education a long term priority investment, otherwise we’ll be right back to where we started sooner or later.
For now, a few local issues to keep an eye out on moving forward swiftly in higher education. A legislative panel called “The Committee to Study Funding of Higher Education” is looking at the formula the state uses to fund each institution. Is it equitable? Many say no. As a matter of fact, I joined fellow CSN students in support of a reexamination of the formula because CSN is unfairly funded more than any institution in the state. I was happy that Senator John Lee sponsored the bill that created this committee to examine these problems.
Also, there is a Board of Regents meeting starting today (Thursday and Friday) at UNLV. It’s important to pay attention, and even raise your voice there too! They are looking at 5-13 percent tuition increases. Once again, the powers that be (especially from the right) seem hell bent on shifting the burden of funding our society to those who can barely afford rent.
Let’s not brush these issues aside. Keep up the effort to change how we do business when it comes to education in Nevada. That is the whole reason I got involved with politics here. I hope that the same passion I have on this issue will begin to grow in more and more Nevadans, and that we can put our money where our mouths are.
Justin is the publisher The Nevada View, which has earned the recognition in the Washington Post’s “Best State-Based Political Blogs,” as well as being awarded the “Most Valuable Blogger Award” by the local CBS affiliate in 2011. Justin is also an associate at the Ramirez Group in Las Vegas. Follow him on Twitter @McAffee