weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Plan would use pandemic stimulus funds for enhanced summer school

Democratic state lawmakers said Wednesday they will propose using funds from the next round of federal pandemic stimulus, as much as $1 billion, to bolster summer school programs across the state to help students recover from a year of learning lost to pandemic restrictions.

The so-called “Back on Track Act” would fund enhanced summer programs, with districts focusing particularly on at-risk students, such as those with financial need, high school juniors and seniors behind on class credits, pre-K and kindergarten students, elementary students struggling with math and reading, students with special needs, and students with chronic absenteeism, sponsors said Wednesday.

“We know that learning loss because of the pandemic is a crisis that threatens to send many of our kids back with the potential of leaving behind a widened achievement gap,” said Sen. Marilyn Dondero-Loop, D-Las Vegas, who outlined the plan for reporters Wednesday with Assemblywoman Natha Anderson, D-Sparks. Dondero-Loop is a retired teacher; Anderson still teaches in Washoe County.

“If we don’t work now to correct it, it will have implications for their educational development for years to come,” Dondero-Loop said. The bill will be introduced in the coming days, she said.

Different summer school

If the plan is ultimately approved, districts would have 30 days from passage to submit individualized school plans to the state Education Department. Those plans would also have to include provisions for transporting students and feeding them breakfast and lunch.

“This is a huge departure from our usual summer school programs, which does not always demand that,” Anderson said.

Enhanced summer programs also would include counselors and other support staff in addition to educators. Those who participate would receive supplemental pay equal to their contract rate.

To fund the enhanced summer school programs at no cost to families, the state would draw on federal pandemic stimulus aid to education. Some $130 billion in aid to K-12 schools nationally is included in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan; the bill has passed the House and is awaiting a vote in the Senate.

Though figures for Nevada are not final. Superintendent of Public Instruction Jhone Ebert said Wednesday the state expects to receive about $1 billion in aid to schools.

“We are expecting every district to participate,” Dondero-Loop said. “We’ve tailored the bill to allow for their flexibility for their district.”

Other actions

The Assembly Judiciary Committee heard Assembly Bill 157, which would allow people to sue if someone calls the police on them under false pretenses based solely on their perceived race, color, national origin or other defining characteristic.

It is based on incidents such as one last summer in New York City, where a white woman called police on a Black man in Central Park after he asked her to leash her dog.

Similar statutes have been passed in New York, Washington and Oregon, sponsor Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno, D-North Las Vegas, told the committee.

“I believe that we have a moral imperative to do whatever we can as policymakers to stop this type of behavior,” Monroe-Moreno said. “At a minimum, it wastes the time and resources of law enforcement. At its worst, it’s an attempt to weaponize our law enforcement personnel against the communities that they serve.”

Monroe-Moreno also presented Assembly Bill 158, which would decriminalize penalties for those younger than 21 charged with alcohol or cannabis use or possession. Offenders, who now could be charged with misdemeanors, would instead face sentences of community service. The bill is undergoing amendments.

Contact Capital Bureau reporter Bill Dentzer at bdentzer@reviewjournal.com

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Local Salvation Army hit by thieves

As Pahrump’s Salvation Army prepares to serve families in need during the holiday season, approximately $500 worth of new toys set aside for its annual Angel Tree program were recently stolen, along with Christmas decorations and items being stored for the Kiwanis Club and Pahrump’s Sleep In Heavenly Peace organization.

Pahrump community comes together for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for appreciation and for hundreds of Pahrump area residents and visitors, there was plenty to be grateful for this year at the Pahrump Holiday Task Force’s annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

Pahrump Valley Academy virtual town hall set for Saturday

Throughout much of 2019 and into 2020, a group of local residents hoping to add a new educational option to the valley worked diligently toward establishing Pahrump Valley Academy, which would have been the valley’s very first public charter school, only to have the proposal nixed in early 2020.

Rotary Club encouraging students to read

The Pahrump Rotary Club has performed countless community service projects since its inception in 1987.

Bowling for Our Wounded Warriors – Fundraiser set for Dec. 5

Donning a U.S. armed forces uniform is something that comes with great risk and the men and women who step up to take on the challenge of protecting America through military service often come home with injuries, both the visible and the invisible kind.

Man calls 911 while speaking to deputies, report says

Nye County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a man who allegedly called 911 for a complaint about loud music at a residence along South Chippewa Street last week but ended up getting arrested himself.

Development of Pahrump’s Kellogg Park tracking right along

Development of Pahrump’s newest park, Kellogg Park on the southern end of the valley, continues to move along steadily, with a variety of milestones reached in recent months and officials with the town of Pahrump and Nye County now setting their sights on the next steps of the development process.

PLAC to decide on Rough Hat recommendations; meeting Nov. 30 in Pahrump

Throughout its many years, the Pahrump Public Lands Advisory Committee hasn’t seen a whole lot of community involvement, with the group historically hosting its monthly meetings amid almost empty audiences.

Together With Veterans hosting SWOT assessment meeting in Pahrump

The men and women who have served in the United States military have given of themselves, made sacrifices on a daily basis and put the safety of others before themselves in order to protect America but when service comes to an end and they return to civilian life, the transition can be jarring.

Beatty Advisory Board deals with trails, racing, blue light

There will be no informal election to choose appointees to the Beatty Town Advisory Board. Randy Reed and Erika Gerling, whose terms expire at the end of the year, were the only people to submit letters of interest, so the Board voted, at their Nov. 22 meeting, to forward their names to the Board of County Commissioners for reappointment.