Education Reform in Nevada
During the 2011 Legislative Session, the Nevada Legislature passed and Governor Sandoval signed into law sweeping education reforms affecting K-12 education — 40 bills in all.
Included and significant in these reforms is the make-up of the State Board of Education itself. Senate Bill 197 revised the system of governance and oversight of public education in Nevada. It created a new State Board beginning on January 8, 2013 consisting of seven voting members and four non-voting members.
Of the voting members:
- Four are elected by voters, with districts aligning with the Congressional districts;
- One member is appointed by the Governor;
- One member is appointed by the Governor from a nomination by the Majority Leader of the Senate; and
- One member is appointed by the Governor from a nomination by the Speaker of the Assembly.
Of the non-voting members the Governor appoints:
- One member who is a member of a board of trustees of a school district and who is nominated by the Nevada Association of School Boards;
- One member who represents the Nevada System of Higher Education and who is nominated by the Board of Regents; and
- One member who is a pupil enrolled in a public school in Nevada and who is nominated by the Nevada Association of Student Councils.
SB 197 also changed the manner in which the State Superintendent of Public Instruction is appointed. Instead of being appointed and serving at the pleasure of an all-elected State Board, the Superintendent is now appointed by the Governor from a list of three candidates submitted by the State Board and serves at the pleasure of the Governor. This will strengthen our system as the Superintendent now serves in the Governor’s Cabinet. Governor Brian Sandoval has appointed James Guthrie to serve in this important new role.
Many of the measures resulting from the 2011 Legislative Session require swift and effective action by the new State Board of Education.
- Adopt regulations which establish a statewide performance evaluation system for teachers and administrators (AB 222);
- Develop a five year strategic plan identifying the recurring issues in improving the achievement and proficiency of students and the goals for addressing the issues (AB 113);
- Prepare an annual report of the state of public education in Nevada (SB197);
- Develop a plan to establish clearly defined goals and benchmarks for students enrolled in public high schools to ensure those students are college and career ready (AB 138);
- Evaluate annually every approved teacher and administrator training provider (AB 230; SB 315);
- Develop a model curiculum for English language arts and mathematics for kindergarten and grades 1-12 (SB 14);
- Revise its policy on parental and family involvement in supporting the education of their children (SB 229); and
- Adopt regulations relating to the Bullying Prevention Fund (SB 276).