Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - September 18, 2018 


Kavanaugh now expected to meet his accuser at an open hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. Also on the Tuesday rundown: An Albany rally calls for a million solar households; and #GetCaughtReading – a weeklong campaign for readers of all ages.

Daily Newscasts

Feds Decide Not to Punish Nevada, Will Keep Education Money Flowing

The U.S. Department of Education will keep millions in federal funds flowing to Nevada Schools by granting the state a waiver from Common Core testing requirements from 2015. (Melmopenem/iStockphotos)
The U.S. Department of Education will keep millions in federal funds flowing to Nevada Schools by granting the state a waiver from Common Core testing requirements from 2015. (Melmopenem/iStockphotos)
March 16, 2016

CARSON CITY, Nev. - Education advocates are breathing a big sigh of relief after the federal government decided Tuesday not to withhold millions of dollars in federal funds as punishment over problems with Common Core testing last year.

States are supposed to ensure that 95 percent of students take the Common Core standardized tests, but last year the testing in Nevada was stopped early when major problems developed with the software used to administer the tests. Nick Di Archangel, director of communications for the Nevada State Education Association, said the state's public schools already are on a shoestring budget and could not weather the massive cuts that would be necessary if any federal funding was lost.

"It is a big deal," he said. "Nevada public schools certainly could not have handled having any money not come to it. It's already behind as far as per-pupil spending, so this money is needed - so we're happy about that."

Nevada's education budget in 2013 was $4.1 billion, with the federal government providing 10 percent. Nevada's per-pupil spending that year was slightly more than $8,100 - seventh lowest in the nation. The state now has switched to a new software provider for the tests, which already are under way this spring.

Di Archangel said now the Legislature can move forward in 2017 to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced No Child Left Behind and allowed states more control over the number of standardized tests students take.

"The Legislature will actually decide what parts to implement of the ESSA into the educational system, right," he said. "It doesn't automatically carry down. That's part of what ESSA does. It allows the states to decide on these different parts of the act."

Nevada's public school budgets also face another challenge - from a new law passed last year that established Education Savings Accounts that gave parents some of their child's share of the public education spending - to be used at private schools, online education or home schooling. That law is tied up in two lawsuits, including one pending before the state Supreme Court.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NV