Education has been a hot-button topic for a long time in Nevada, and for good reason. It’s no secret that our educational system is failing by nationally measured metrics. You can chalk it up to non-involved parents, a high population of ESL students or school districts that are simply too large, it doesn’t change the fact that Nevada’s educational system needs major work. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that business leaders know the importance of education. That knowledge is evidenced by their consistent willingness to give both financially and of themselves to help education in the state. From large corporations donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to individual business leaders starting programs that take action in helping students succeed, there are thousands of stories of Nevada business leaders stepping up to close the gap in education. Those voluntary actions of Nevada executives don’t even take into account the recently passed commerce tax on business to help fund education.
However, as any good executive knows, nothing comes free and when it comes to education, there’s more at stake than simply improving our metrics. Education is at the heart of Nevada’s future. From raising up the next generation of leaders to providing a skilled workforce for growing and diversifying industries, nearly every facet of Nevada’s success depends on a solid educational base.
Nevada business leaders are more than happy to do their part to improve education. We realize that without that solid base we have no future workforce, we have no economic diversification and we have no way of attracting new businesses. So, while we’re more than willing to pitch in, we also require a return on investment. Education and business go hand in hand. There are certainly hurdles to overcome but those hurdles shouldn’t come in the form of red tape, wasteful spending and bureaucratic governing, each of which distracts from the simple charge of Nevada’s schools: educate our future.
This month’s cover story talks about education and what our schools are doing to meet the gap between where we are and where we need to be as a state. I encourage you to read it. I’m also heartened to see new bills introduced this session that would make positive strides for education. One has to do with the Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs). It would set up an Office of Educational Choice and allow that program to succeed as it was originally intended. ESAs were first passed in the 2015 Legislature without a funding component. This bill would correct that oversight and pave the way for school choice.
CALL TO ACTION: As business leaders, we must lead the charge. We know how important education is and we can’t sit idly by as our system continually fails. From our young children being educated by the system to the workers we hope to attract to fill employment needs, education affects us all. I hope you’ll get involved in education. Whether you volunteer at a school or your company contributes financially, the only way we can fix this system is to put in some elbow grease of our own.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) “If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”