Nevada Education Reform – 2011 Legislature

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).

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