State of the States
New Governor Urges Patience on Full-Day-Kindergarten Push
In his first State of the State address, newly inaugurated Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons took an approach different from that of many of his fellow governors who have pushed for full-day kindergarten in recent years.
Saying he wants to stick with the current pilot program instead of calling for statewide implementation, Mr. Gibbons, a Republican, said he believes that is the “fiscally responsible approach.”
“If the results are positive, we will pursue it next session,” he said during his Jan. 22 speech. “If they are not, we will have exercised good fiscal policy.”
The governor called for the legislature to approve a $60 million pilot “empowerment” program, based on the “weighted-student funding” model designed by former Edmonton, Alberta, schools Superintendent Michael A. Strembitsky. Such a model funnels money to individual schools based on the number of students they have, in addition to funds for students with particular needs, such as special education students or English-language learners. Other districts that are using a similar program include Houston, San Francisco, and Hawaii’s statewide system.
“Through this powerful program, we will empower our educators to be more responsible to their schools’ individual circumstances and the diversity of their student populations,” Gov. Gibbons said.
Mr. Gibbons’ proposed pilot program would include 100 schools.
Also in his speech, the governor called for $5.6 million to “shore up” the Guinn Millenium Scholarship, a merit-scholarship program established under his predecessor, former Gov. Kenny Guinn. And Mr. Gibbons said he would also work with the legislature to secure additional money for school security.
Vol. 26, Issue 21, Page 20