One of most contentious issues in this year's legislature is how to reform education in Nevada. A couple of bills that were recently passed in the Assembly would change how teachers are evaluated and will implement a pay for performance plan for teachers. Those bills passed with bi-partisan support, but Gov. Brian Sandoval wants bigger changes to the system including changes to seniority rules and ending social promotion.
One of the governor's biggest bills, which would institute a voucher program in the state, has died in committee but there are other bills he will push for. The governor's plan has been compared to reforms implemented in Florida and Washington D.C.
Well known education activist and former chancellor of D.C. schools Michelle Rhee is also advising the Sandoval administration on education. We'll take a look at the bills the governor is proposing and whether those types of reform have worked in other states.
In Nevada the one word that legislators and the governors have avoided thus far is taxes. Gov. Brian Sandoval pledged to not sign off on any tax increases as long as he is in office. And that's despite rallies and protests from students and other groups who say the governor should relax his no new tax stance. But, one legislator says taxes are what the state needs so let's try and make it happen. Democratic Assemblywoman, Peggy Pierce has introduced a slew of bills that would tax businesses, cigarettes, mining and alcohol. Some Republicans say her bills are dead on arrival. We talk to Peggy Pierce about her bill and why she is the only legislator taking the steps to make taxes happen in Nevada.
Earlier this month about 500 students showed up on the Strip for a rally and march against potential budget cuts at UNLV. Now, students from colleges and universities all over the state are rallying in Carson City to let legislators know they want a fair approach to higher education which includes revenue solutions and less cuts. We'll talk to students from Southern Nevada who are headed up to Carson City for the rally about what higher education means to them.
The Sandoval administration's budget plan would have a harsh effect on services in Clark County. County leaders say that if the budget is implemented as is the county would be on the hook for an additional $100-million or funding responsibilities at the same time the county would lose about $150-million in tax revenue over the next two years. What does it all mean? County leaders say it means job cuts, buildings closing and a big reduction in services.
Last fall Walt Rulffes retired as Clark County School District superintendent after five years at the helm. His replacement, Dwight Jones takes over at a time when the district is facing yet another round of large budget cuts as a result of the battered state economy. So how will he handle potential layoffs, bigger class sizes and reduced funding? And what is his vision for CCSD in the next few years. Dwight Jones joins us.
In the November election Latinos gained 6 seats in the Nevada legislature bringing the total number of Hispanics holding office in Nevada to 8. They are all Democrats. We talk with four of them about the growing influence of Hispanics in Nevada politics as well as their stance on the budget and other state issues.