(NPRI) – The Nevada Policy Research Institute rolled out a new billboard to help lawmakers and citizens understand how they can improve education in Nevada.
The billboard, located in Reno along the I-580 just north of W. Huffaker Lane and visible to northbound commuters — including lawmakers on their way to Reno or the airport — demonstrates why simply spending more on education won’t create better outcomes for students.
In 1983, Nevada spent $53,788 on a classroom of 25 students. In 2011, it spent $219,525 on 25 students, according research from Nevada’s Legislative Counsel Bureau. If the 1983 numbers are adjusted for inflation, Nevada still spent just $121,475 on a classroom of 25 students. Despite the dramatic increase in inflation-adjusted, per-pupil education funding, Nevada students continue to rank among the worst in the nation when it comes to performance.
NPRI’s Executive Vice President Victor Joecks issued the following statement regarding the billboard and Education Awareness Day:
If merely spending more on education were the way to achieve better education outcomes, test scores in Nevada would be soaring. As NPRI’s new billboard clearly shows, Nevada has been increasing education funding for decades, but we’re still waiting for results. It’s not how much we spend on education that matters, but how we spend that money that’s important.
Today, union members are wearing buttons that demand, “More for our students.” We at NPRI couldn’t agree more with that call. The time has come to give more choice to our students and their families and, thereby, bring more success to our students.
Nevada students deserve more from the adults controlling their futures. It’s time to step past the self interest of special interests and support school-choice measures such as opportunity scholarships and education savings accounts — which have nationwide records of proven success.
As detailed in NPRI’s study 33 ways to improve education in Nevada without spending more, Nevada can provide a better education to students with the funds currently spent on education by reallocating dollars from programs like full-day kindergarten, that produce no lasting results, to school choice programs that are effective.
“Unions continue to hold our children’s education hostage by demanding more money to pay for more of the same,” Joecks continued. “If we really want students to have a chance at success, if we really want ‘more for our students,’ we need 21st century reforms like AB165 and forthcoming legislation creating Education Savings Accounts, which would mean proven solutions for Nevada’s families.”
NPRI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that produces and shares ideas and information that empowers people. For more information, please visit www.NPRI.org.