We Must Act February 2nd, 2015

Nevada begins a historic legislative session today. A lot has already been written about it because important issues like our children’s education, the state budget and the economy will be debated.

Nevada has weathered the Great Recession. We have the 2nd fastest growing economy in the U.S, our unemployment rate is at its lowest point since 2008, and there have been almost 100,000 new jobs created in Nevada since the beginning of 2010.

We are on the move again, but the single most troubling issue that will hold our state back is an education system that needs substantial help and reform. Only a combination of classroom improvements, reforms, accountability measures and additional monetary investments will chart a new course for Nevada’s future success.

Here are some troubling facts:

  • Our high school graduation rate IS THE WORST IN THE NATION.
  • Nevada ranks NEAR THE BOTTOM in math achievement.
  • LESS THAN A THIRD of fourth graders are proficient on national reading tests.

These are just a few of Nevada’s poor education statistics that bother me. That is why I am committed to working this session to ensure that every child receives a quality education.

By failing to provide children and their teachers with proper resources, we are hurting them and ourselves for generations to come. We all know that children who drop out of high school earn substantially less than those who do graduate. We also know that they will not have access to the technical jobs of tomorrow.

It will also become even more difficult to recruit new businesses to Nevada if we cannot provide a quality education for children or a skilled and educated workforce for the new companies that come here.

For these reasons, I have proposed a series of needed classroom resources, reforms, accountability measures and funding to dramatically improve our education system. I know that reforms and accountability measures won’t be popular with some, and added funding may be just as unpopular with others.

However, we all know that the status quo isn’t working and that we can’t let another generation of Nevada’s students go through school without the help they need and deserve. We may also lose the intense competition to bring new industry to our state if companies have no confidence in our schools.

So, as we begin this legislative session, I want you to know that education will be my focus and priority. I pledge to work with all legislators, Democrat and Republican, to take the necessary action to give our kids a world-class education and protect the economy and future of Nevada.

Thank you for the privilege and honor to serve as your Governor.

Sincere regards,

Governor Brian Sandoval