Study: Nevada’s last in nation education-wise; expert wants focus on students, not teacher raises

Local News

 LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — According to public records, Clark County Teachers make between $60,000 and $125,000 a year, but there is a risk that, should they not be granted that 3 percent raise promised by Governor Steve Sisolak, they will strike next school year.

But the debate over teacher raises have some education experts speaking out, and they say there are more pressing issues at hand. When it comes to education, Nevada ranks dead last with a failing grade, according to Education Week’s quality counts. And since lawmakers are discussing removing penalties for ensuring average students can read by the end of third grade — some say the focus needs to be on students and their success. 

Michael Schaus with the Nevada Policy Research Institute says he believes the focus should be on improving education instead of a blanket raise across the board, which doesn’t ensure student growth. 

He says the governor’s budget doesn’t include enough for a pay raise and other budget considerations like health care, retirement, and that prevailing wage increase.  According to Schaus, there are ways to find the money for education or pay raises like reforming prevailing wage so construction costs are less to build new schools, and reform the retirement system so contributions are lower. CCSD contributes 28 percent of an employee’s salary to retirement. 

NPRI advocates a performance or merit-based pay system rather than blanket raises where sizable raises are given to teachers with a good track record. For example, teachers that go into at-risk schools, and ensure a student is actually progressing year after year.

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