2015 Legislative Update For Week of 5/4/15
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Weekly Update


Far and wide

HOPE goes to Washington

NV parent group advocates for our children at local, state and national level
"Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of HOPE."  - Martin Luther King, Jr. 

The next few weeks will mark some exciting moments for Honoring Our Public Education. HOPE President Jenn Blackhurst is in Washington D.C. to discuss the future of Nevada's education, specifically the millions of Federal dollars our state is not currently receiving. Next week, HOPE returns to Carson City to encourage our Legislators to support the additional dollars required to adequately fund our students' education. The time has come to stop just saying that our lawmakers want better for our children, and to take the steps necessary to ensure that happens. 

With the forecasted results from Friday's Economic Forum showing a 1.1 billion dollar deficit between the proposed budget for the State and expected revenue, and only four weeks left to adopt a final budget, it is now "crunch time" for our Legislators. SB252 and AB464 are bills that are anticipated to be front and center in the discussion on how to bridge the gap so that important initiatives can be funded. HOPE will be engaged in supporting action to fund our education goals. Ultimate success will contain compromise and vision to find a fair, broad-based plan that allows for growth and diversity. The one option NOT in the best interest of our children, is doing nothing at all

Follow up

Zoom, Great Teaching and Leading, break-up bills heard, Bullying heads to floor vote

  • AB27 - Allows credentialed, non-US citizens to become licensed teachers in Nevada K-12 schools. This could be a positive step in addressing our teacher vacancy crisis. Received a do pass out of Senate Education April 30.
  • AB374 - Requires high school counselors/staff to meet annually with students, review progress and determine the student's college and career-ready path. Heard in Senate Education April 30, no action taken.
  • AB394 - Provides for the creation of an advisory committee and a technical advisory committee for the purpose of deconsolidating Clark County into five separate school precincts for the '17-'18 school year. An outside consultant would submit the plan and at least four town halls would be held. The plan would become effective without further Legislative action. Heard in Assembly Ways and Means April 27, no action taken.
  • SB75 - Ensures students attending year-round schools have the same amount of instructional time prior to taking academic assessments.  Heard in Assembly Education April 27, no action taken.
  • SB391 - "Read by 3" bill provides support services for early grades with a focus on improving literacy rates. Literacy by 3rd grade is one of the greatest determining factors of student success. Heard in Senate Finance April 30, no action taken.
  • SB405 - Enhances ZOOM School funding for landmark program providing free quality Pre-K, full-day Kindergarten, ELL reading centers and an extended school year with necessary transportation. These programs target students with incredible potential for improvement and have been a beacon of success for CCSD. ZOOM schools also act to provide incentives to fill our teacher vacancies. Heard in Senate Finance April 30, no action taken.
  • SB432 - Establishes "Victory Schools," chronically low-performing campuses in high poverty neighborhoods that receive funds for targeted programs and services relating to student learning, as well as parent engagement, wraparound services, teacher support, teacher attainment and teacher retention. All dollars come with accountability measures and oversight by the Nevada State Board of Education. Heard in Senate Finance April 30, no action taken.
  • SB474 - Provides grant funding for professional development through the "Great Teaching and Leading Fund," to be provided by a variety of education entities. HOPE is a member of the Teacher Pipeline Consortium, and testified in support of this bill on 4/30, as it addresses needed professional development opportunities, as well as teacher recruitment and retainment. Heard in Senate Finance April 30, no action taken.
  •  SB491 – Allocates $10 million a year with a private match to recruit high-quality charter schools for students below the Federal poverty line. Heard in Senate Finance April 30, no action taken.
  • SB504 – Amends provisions relating to a safe and respectful learning environment for students as well as administrators, teachers, and support staff in public schools, and creates an Office of Safe and Respectful Learning Environment within the DOE. Passed out of Senate Finance April 30, moves to Senate floor for a vote. 

 Universal Full-Day Kindergarten is NOT guaranteed.

Please take a moment to complete the survey (click image)  that will be used to inform Legislators this session. 

Coming up this week

Monday, May 4
  • Education Budget hearing - Joint Committee Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance, K-12 Subcommittees at 8:00 a.m.
  • SB463 - Relating to student data privacy. This bill will be heard in the Assembly Education Committee at 3:15 p.m.
  • SB208 - Requires charter schools to notify neighborhoods when they will be opening and accepting enrollment. This bill will be heard in the Assembly Education Committee at 3:15 p.m.
  • SB313 - Allows for a school for the Highly Gifted to provide a program of distance education. This bill will be heard in the Assembly Education Committee at 3:15 p.m.
  • SB390 - Allows charter schools to provide priority enrollment to students attending traditional public schools that are overcrowded by at least 25 percent. This bill will be heard in the Assembly Education Committee at 3:15 p.m.
Tuesday, May 5
  • SB411 - Establishes Public Schools Overcrowding and Repair Needs Committee to recommend a tax to the County Commission for a 2016 ballot question to fund school capital projects. This bill will be heard in the Assembly Taxation Committee at 1:30 p.m.
  • SB332 - Allocates $1 million for each year of the biennium to support the Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) program in Clark County and Washoe County. This bill will be heard in the Senate Education Committee at 3:30 p.m.
  • SB447 - Bases 25 percent of teacher evaluations on statewide assessments, 25 percent on local assessments and delays implementation of the Nevada Educator Performance Framework (NEPF) to the '16-'17 school year. This bill will be heard in the Senate Education Committee at 3:30 p.m.

Tick Tock, Time's (almost) Up 

Important bills still await a hearing 

Four weeks left in the 78th Nevada Legislative Session and the State waits to tackle the following history-making bills.
  • SB397 – This is the implementation of the new Nevada Plan that requires weighted funding for English Language Learners and Free and Reduced Lunch students. 
  • SB424 – Creates the K-12 Public Education Stabilization Account, reallocating 50% of the remaining balance from the State Distributive School Account to a stabilization account for the future.
  • SB508 – Provides for long-term modernization of the Nevada Plan (per-pupil funding) based on a weighted funding formula for ELL, FRL, Special Ed, Kindergarten and GATE students, as well as average daily attendance, starting in the 16-17 school year. 

It's easy to stay informed with the Nevada Electronic Legislative Information System (NELIS). It offers access to Bills, Budgets, and Committees, a useful Calendar, contact information for Senate and Assembly members, and link to sign up for Personalized Legislative Tracking. And, if you miss anything, archived videos are available.

Your two cents

Contact Legislators

Getting in touch with your legislators is easy and they really do want to hear from you. Your opinions help shape our laws. And don't forget to mention you're a member of HOPE!
  • The Share Your Opinion page offers a form for one-stop communication with minimal effort and no searching for legislator contact information.
  • Contact Senators and Assemblypeople directly. Each branch of the Legislature has all the contact information for its members listed on one page.

The spotlight
on policy change

HOPE's Top 5 Goals

What does HOPE want? We want to see change in areas that will improve the chances of a better education for our current and future students. Our platform is broad and inclusive:
  • Pre-K for under-resourced children
  • Universal full-day Kindergarten
  • Embedded and collaborative Professional Development
  • Funding Formula reform and a Stabilization Account
  • Rollover bonds for school construction and refurbishment

The voice
for our children

We all need HOPE!

HOPE is guided purely by the goal to provide the best education possible for all students in the state. Our parent advocacy group formed in 2014 to fill the void where family and community involvement was largely missing. Our membership allows us to offer a unified voice representing families and community members all over Southern Nevada. It also helps educate and inform local and state level decision-makers and legislators on specific needs of students and teachers in Clark County and beyond.

Share HOPE with your friends and ask them to sign up today to become a member — With your support, we will always have HOPE for Nevada's students!

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