Teachers in Nevada Protest Cuts

In Carson City Nevada teachers, students and education advocates rallied Monday against deep spending cuts and education reforms outlined in Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval’s $5.8 billion proposed budget. A crowd estimated at 250, most of them teachers, demonstrated outside the legislative building in support of more money for public schools. On the steps of the legislative building, teachers and parents protested Sandoval’s plan to hold general fund spending to $5.8 billion for 2011-13, cutting hundreds of millions in state support for K-12 education. Sandoval and the Republicans appear determined to stick together to block any Democratic moves to raise taxes, which require a two-thirds majority vote.

This news is not shocking any more in the current economic environment in which most states operate. Most people through the last two years thought that the stimulus plan that was passed in 2009 did not “do anything” to help the economy. One of the largest pieces of the law provided for was to help states meet their budgets for 2009 and 2010. Now that the stimulus money is going away states are left with huge deficits and little revenue in which to meet their needs. Some states like Illinois and California are making revenue increases (taxes) part of the solution and some states like Ohio, and Wisconsin are deciding that school systems are the best places in which to make cuts.

Everyone when polled says it is a good idea to cut taxes, to cut spending, and to spend less money. The problem is in the details. Everyone seems to think that they don’t use government resources and that it is other selfish or lazy people that are costing the government all the money. Then when reality hits and there is no money for teachers, police, firefighters, road fixes, storm clean up, courts, prisons, or one of hundreds of other services we have become accustomed to people seemed shocked.

The bottom line is that at some point soon people are going to have to decide if they like the way life has pretty much been for the last 60 years or if they think it would be better to go back to the way things were prior to the 1940’s. Teachers are learning what these choices mean this year. At this rate we are all going to be learning this lesson pretty soon.

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