What Kids Deserve with Billions of Federal Dollars for Nevada Education

Opportunity 180 is committed to a community North Star where every kid in Nevada is able to graduate from high school, college and career ready, with the tools to determine their own future. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the challenges facing Nevada’s students, especially those with the least access to quality schools. However, the recently passed American Rescue Plan will deliver nearly 1.5 billion dollars in one-time funds to support our students and schools. This is a crucial moment for Nevada to reshape its education landscape, make sustainable policy improvements, and set ourselves on a path for educational excellence. That is why Opportunity 180, along with more than a dozen leading education organizations, published a letter detailing several high-impact areas to guide the use of federal dollars across public education in Nevada. Opportunity 180 is also committed to transparent and accessible data that drive further discussion, policy, and action to improve outcomes for kids. To that end, we believe it is necessary to have clear and detailed outcomes for the impact of these federal funds. We will look to track and report on the following metrics to ensure we are effectively moving the needle when it comes to improving education opportunities for our community’s kids.

Flexible Implementation
  • Annual school and school district budgets are balanced prior to the allocation of federal dollars and posted for public review.  
  • District-wide activities allow for a site-based implementation based on community needs and student data. 
Equity-Focused Academic Supports to Close Learning Gaps 
  • Students who are the furthest behind as of the end of SY20-21 will grow a minimum of 1.5 years per year; all of the other students will grow at least 1 year, per year SY21-22 and SY22-23
  • % of students who take advantage of summer school and out-of-school time learning opportunities. 
  • Student achievement differences between students classified as “at-risk” and those classified as not at risk decrease by at least 25%.
Caring for the Whole Child
  • Increase in % of students who have access to on-demand mental health services.
  • Increase in % of school building staff trained in recognizing and supporting students who may be grieving or have experienced trauma. 
  • Decrease in # of student suicides and students who report thinking of suicide.
Safe and Secure In-person Learning Environments
  • % of students who identify they feel safe in their learning environment. 
  • % of staff who share they feel safe in their work environment. 
  • % increase of teachers retained in SYs 21-23. 
Support for Remote Learning
  • The total number of families who request access to remote instruction have access to the tools and resources necessary to successfully participate in learning. 
  • % of educators who share they have been provided meaningful, rigorous, practicable professional learning on the successful delivery of remote instruction. 
Family and Community Communication and Connection
  • % of families who indicate they feel clear on their students’ educational opportunities (remote and in-person).

This one-time infusion of funds is an incredible opportunity to make lasting change for Nevada’s students and we are eager to continue to engage in meaningful dialogue with our local and state leaders to help shape the impact. This is a community-wide challenge and deserves community-centered solutions– which start with being clear and consistent about what is working and what is not. In partnership with our colleagues, we will push for transparency throughout the process through regular reporting, accurate data, and trackable results, all of which should be made readily available to Nevada families. Separately, Opportunity 180 will also monitor and publish available results against the metrics listed above. 

Education and our kids’ future is a community priority so be sure to check out our regularly published Nevada Ed-Watch series designed to increase access to information about what decisions are being made regarding public education in Nevada. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on all things Nevada education and help us navigate this new normal together.