School over, dozens of students filed past the solitary sign-holder pointing visitors to the Greenspun Junior High auditorium for the first of several community forums on education sponsored by state Senate Democrats. The event, coordinated by State Sens. Joyce Woodhouse and Steven Horsford, drew a crowd of one. Me.
Horsford and Woodhouse repeated well-worn mantras about giving Nevada children a world-class education, paying teachers more, demanding greater administrative accountability and improving horrid graduation and standardized-test-passing rates. But, in general, they offered few clues on how to accomplish all this.
The one area where they offered specifics was in lifting starting salaries for new teachers from $33,000 to $40,000. Said Horsford, “We hire about 2,000 teachers a year. This would cost around $14 million. I believe we can find those monies just by reviewing existing line items. We’re not talking about burdening the taxpayers with this.”