The following offers highlights of the recent legislative sessions. Precollegiate enrollment figures are based on fall 2006 data reported by state officials for public elementary and secondary schools. The figures for precollegiate education spending do not include federal flow-through funds, unless noted.
The centerpiece of Gov. Jim Gibbons’ education agenda—the Empowerment Schools program—will begin this fall, giving almost 30 schools in 10 Nevada counties more freedom in how they spend money, design instruction, and plan their schedules as a way to improve student achievement.
In a statement, the first-term Republican governor said that the budget compromise in the legislature this year would allow the $9 million initiative to receive “the meaningful pilot program it deserves in Nevada.”
The fiscal 2007-09 biennial budget will provide $2.7 billion for K-12 schools—an 18 percent increase over the previous two-year budget. The budget includes a 6 percent raise for teachers, and $7 million for career and technical education. Another program focusing on raising student achievement—called Innovation and the Prevention of Remediation—will receive a $17 million boost, for a total of $99.2 million over the two years.
The 2007-09 budget was the first to fall under a new state constitutional amendment called Education First, approved by voters last fall. The law requires the legislature to appropriate funding for K-12 schools before deciding on spending levels for any other state programs.
A version of this article appeared in the July 18, 2007 edition of Education Week