Governor Sandoval Vetoes K-12 Funding Bill - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Governor Sandoval Vetoes K-12 Funding Bill

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Governor Brian Sandoval today vetoed Assembly Bill 568, a bill pertaining to funding for K-12 public education for the 2011-2013 biennium.

Democrats do not have the votes needed to override the governor's veto, sending the budget battle back to square one with three weeks left in the 2011 session that ends June 6.

In a portion of his veto letter, he stated: 

"I veto and return this bill because it increases state spending by nearly $660 million above the amount proposed in the Executive Budget, as amended. Were this bill to be enacted into law, insufficient revenue would be available for the Legislature to meet its obligation to prepare a balanced budget encompassing all areas of state responsibility.

Approval of Assembly Bill 568, without corresponding reductions in spending in other parts of the Executive Budget, would violate the requirement of balanced relations between proposed expenditures and anticipated revenues. This bill therefore represents a circuitous attempt to secure a tax increase — despite the fact I have been clear since the commencement of the Legislative Session that Nevada's struggling economy must be allowed to fully recover.

Within this context, I have provided the Legislature with a spending plan for K- 12 education, as well as a comprehensive legislative package to ensure educator accountability, parental choice, and other much-needed system reforms. I am committed to improving our education system; I am equally committed to doing so in a fiscally prudent manner. I understand these decisions are difficult, but as leaders we must make them. While all of us would like to have more money to spend, we must also accept that education funding cannot occur in a vacuum. Current economic realities require that we spend only the money we have, while allowing for the additional funding of education as the economy continues to improve."


Senator Steven Horsford released this statement:

"After years of underfunding our schools, Governor Sandoval's veto of K-12 funding adds insult to injury for our students, parents, teachers and the economic future of our state.  Nowhere in his veto message does the Governor justify that he has sufficiently funded education.  Instead, he accepts mediocrity, which is unacceptable."

"Rather than look for common ground, the Governor has adopted an extreme position that puts him truly outside the mainstream."

"This bill would have funded K-12 education at current levels and given us the opportunity for reform that we desperately need. As we've seen time and again, in states with Democratic and Republican governors, education reform is only successful when we provide teachers the tools they need, we keep class sizes low, and we emphasize early childhood education."

"We can't cut our way out of crumbling classrooms. We can't attract the talented teachers we demand if we continue to cut their pay.  We can't pack more students into overcrowded classrooms and expect them to learn:  when a teacher is more concerned about crowd control than curriculum, student achievement will atrophy."

"There are successful schools and shining examples of student progress in Nevada.  From Green Valley High School in Henderson to Carson Valley Middle School in Gardnerville to Kermit Booker Elementary in Historic West Las Vegas, there are many schools that are assets to our state."

"Our struggling students and our exemplary students and teachers will all feel the impact of this blanket cut to education. Today, the Governor not only turns his back on the struggling schools of Nevada, but he also risks turning our successful schools into factories of underachievement."


Ways & Means Chair Debbie Smith's Statement:

While I fully anticipated this veto, I question how the governor plans to champion economic recovery, end social promotion, and improve our graduation rates while cutting $1.1 billion from our public schools. 

In his veto statement, the governor mentions much needed reforms. We have offered major reforms to tenure, evaluations, and educators compensation and retirement benefits. 

In his veto statement, the governor mentions only spending the money we have and not allowing for additional funding of education. Let me be clear: A.B. 568 does not contain additional funding, but instead prevents massive cuts to public schoolsthe largest in our states history. 

In his veto statement, the governor mentions protecting the integrity of his office. The members of this legislature are all elected as well and we also have a duty to our offices and a commitment to our constituents that we will protect our public schools. 

Never before have we seen this kind of public outcry. We are hearing from countless parents, students and educators that the governors proposed budget would decimate Nevadas schools; they want us to pass a more prudent plan. 

We are hearing a similar cry from business leaders and organizations, small and large, that the governors budget would not only harm our schools, but also our economy. 

We agree. A quality education is the key to economic recovery. We will not be able to recover from this economic crisis and set ourselves on a path to sustainable economic growth without a quality K-12 system. 

We remain firm in our commitment to bring much needed reforms to K-12 and to reject the $1.1 billion cut proposed in the governors budget. 

We remain firm in our commitment to preserve basic support for schools, educator pay and the requirements for class size reduction and full-day kindergarten. 

We will not support sweeping voter-approved school bond reserve funds or diverting room tax dollars supported by the voters.

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