(Keystone Corporation) – We at Keystone believe that there is a silver lining in the budget clouds we face as a state. From the way we fund the state’s various education programs, to basic budgetary discipline, radical and tangible differences in the way in which our state appropriates tax dollars are possible given the current economic climate.
We are faced with a tough task, but if our elected officials take the time to look at what Government provides and how, we know there are significant changes that can be made that will put Nevada on the right path for the next generation.
Never has there been a better place to start examining the detrimental budgetary practices of our state government than public education. In the K-12 arena we need to get more dollars into the classroom to give the good teachers the best chance at success. There has been improvement in this regard recently, but it needs to go much further.
Keystone supports the recent addition of 11 empowerment schools in Clark County, and we call on the Nevada Legislature to move forward with even more. This model of decentralization has proven effective and less costly time and again, and it is about time that the county school districts implement this program wholeheartedly.
Higher Education needs to take a really hard look at itself. We, as taxpayers, need to be given a clear understanding of the mission at UNLV and UNR. Are the courses they offer mission critical? Do they move the Universities in the direction of becoming first class institutions? Are we happy with the respect given to a degree from either institution or could we do better?
In addition, Nevada counties need to explore public/private partnerships for the services it provides the community. We need to implement a model that focuses on efficiency. This is not something that comes naturally to government.
In the business community we have been in the process of restructuring for the last two years. That has meant layoffs and lower payrolls. That has meant redefining the mission of our businesses. That has meant looking at all aspects of our businesses for waste and bloated budgets.
If lawmakers take this opportunity to do the same with our education systems we can enact truly monumental changes that can allow them to provide the top notch education the citizens of Nevada deserve, and at the same time reduce the burden on the tax payer. It can be done if our lawmakers choose to accept the challenge.
(Keystone Corporation recruits, supports and advocates for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services)