(Michael Chamberlain/Nevada Business Coalition) – Yesterday, tax recipients demonstrated along the Strip demanding more from taxpayers. There were marching and signs and speeches, all part of the hyperbole attempting to convince Nevadans the sky is falling in education.
It was also part of the attempt to advance the fallacious ideas that there is some connection between spending and educational quality and that those who believe government must live within its means are opposed to quality education.
Taxpayers have not received adequate value for the dollars they have already spent on education. Now, at a time when most of them are being forced to cut back, when they are suffering pay cuts and job losses and their businesses are failing, those whom their tax dollars have been supporting are demanding they throw even more money into the failed system.
For instance, there was a university professor declaring, “We need more taxes.” This is the very same professor who penned a column last week lamenting impending budget cuts but whose own research and scholarship, as well as that of virtually her entire department, are ill-suited to preparing students for available employment opportunities or for life outside the academy or left-wing activist groups. Apparently, additional taxes are necessary so that the taxpayers of Nevada can continue to fund costly programs that provide their students with few skills of value to employers.
What we need is to reform education, not continue to pour more money into it. Inflation-adjusted per pupil spending by Nevada’s taxpayers has increased by 280% in the last fifty years for K-12 and nearly 30% in the last dozen years for higher ed.
All this additional spending has resulted in larger and better-compensated administration but has not resulted in better student performance. Still, the members of the education establishment continue to demand more money.
The taxpayers of this state, the businesspeople and entrepreneurs and employees who have been struggling for years, demand reform and they demand results from education. They cannot afford to keep dumping more money into a system that does not perform yet continues to demand more money.
(Michael Chamberlain is Executive Director of Nevada Business Coalition.)