Nevada Democrats Legislative Priorities

During Senator Majority Leader Mo Denis’ response to Governor Sandoval’s State of the State Address and subsequent press conferences, the Democrats made eight promises related to education. Were the Democrats able to fulfill their promises? Nevada Succeeds is keeping score of the Democrats performance. Green points are successes; red points are failures; and blue points are unclear or mixed results.

  1. The Democrats focused more on funding over policy in this session. They were able to get the Governor to spend an additional 120 million dollars on education. However, this additional funding does not restore education funding to its pre-recession funding levels once adjusted for inflation.
  2. The Democrats were able to reduce class sizes in Kindergarten, but not in other grades.
  3. The proposal to fund full-day Kindergarten in every school in Nevada failed.
  4. The Democrats were able to establish pre-Kindergarten programs in 15 at-risk schools. With other funding, most at-risk schools will have a pre-Kindergarten program.
  5. The Democrats did not pass their bill (AB 161) to end social promotion by 3rd grade.
  6. The Democrats were unable to change the Nevada plan, which funds K-12 education and slights Clark County.
  7. The Democrats wanted the state to directly fund programs for English Language Learners (ELLs). They convinced the Governor to up his original promise from 14 million dollars to 50 million over the course of the session.
  8. The Opportunity Scholarships Bill (SB 445) never received a vote in either house, which was a major success for the Democrats.

Overall, the Democrats were able to get 3 of their 8 key education priorities. They failed to get 3 key items of their agenda passed, while 2 of their promises had mixed results.