Nevada Ed-Watch 3/12/20

The Ed-Watch series is designed to increase access to information on decisions being made regarding public education in Clark County and Nevada.

Nevada State Board of Education

What is the State Board of Education & what are they responsible for? The Nevada State Board of Education adopts regulations based on Nevada laws, which are passed down to individual school districts in Nevada to implement. The Board has 11 total (7 appointed and 4 publicly elected) members.

How often does the State Board meet? The Nevada State Board of Education meets once per month on Thursdays at 9:00AM. Click here to see the 2020 Board Meeting Schedule. Click here to visit Hope For Nevada’s #NVEd Calendar.

Can community members engage at State Board Meetings? A time for public comment is provided at the beginning (for agenda items) and at the conclusion (on any matter) of each Board meeting. There is a time limit of three minutes per speaker. Members of the community providing testimony must fill out a visitor card, available on-site the day of the meeting.

Click here for a list of all State Board Members.

Thursday, March 12, 2020
Nevada State Board of Education Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

Public Comment

Members of the public provided testimony regarding: 

  • Support for updates to the Nevada Educator Performance Framework for evaluating Speech Language Pathologists 
  • Support for increased investments in adequate school psychologist staffing
  • Support for completing the 2020 Census

President’s Report

Board President Wynn shared the following updates: 

  • Participation in Nevada Reading Week 
  • Preparation for the COVID-19 virus, including online resources available for school administrators and nurses, as well as discussion about distance education 

Superintendent’s Report

State Superintendent Ebert shared the following updates:

  • The Commission on School Funding: 
    • Met with Department of Taxation to gather revenue sources included in the State Education Fund
    • Is developing a budgeting program and discussing revisions to budget templates used by districts 
    • Is determining the categorical weights for pupils and establishing benchmarks for monitoring the implementation of the new funding structure during the March 20th meeting.
    • Is conducting a comparative analysis of district budgets under the new budgeting process during the April meeting.
    • Is identifying final recommendations for the governor and legislature during the May meeting. Committee recommendations are due by July 15th. 
  • ACT Fee Waiver Participation: In 2019, 35,000 students took the ACT. Of those students, 21,000 were eligible for fee waivers, but only 2,059 students (about 6%) used waivers. The Department is working with districts to expand the number of students who access fee waivers.

Board Approved the Consent Agenda:

Consent Agenda Highlights:

Board Heard Updates on the Development of the Statewide Plan for the Improvement of Pupils (STIP)

The STIP outlines goals and values related to the Nevada Department of Education’s role in improving student outcomes. Department staff presented updated goals, each of which will have 2-4 strategies with defined inputs, outputs, and outcomes. 

The board provided guidance related to advocating for additional funding at the legislature to allow for the implementation of STIP with fidelity. 

The final STIP will be presented to the board during the April board meeting. 

Click here to see the presentation.

Board Approved Recommended Revisions to the Nevada Educator Performance Framework (NEPF) 

The approved recommended revisions to the Nevada Educator Performance Frameworks (NEPF) for School Counselors, School Nurses, and Speech-Language Pathologists. The recommendations will help ensure the NEPF aligns with national best practices and accurately reflects the work of professional practice in Nevada. 

Click here to see updated NEPF standards for school counselors 

Click here to see updated NEPF standards for school nurses 

Click here to see updated NEPF standards for speech language pathologists

The board approved a recommendation that Student Learning Goals (SLGs) be modified by a workgroup. The workgroup will remove requirements for the use of standardized assessments to track student progress against their individual SLG’s. Department staff stated that this change will allow tracking of SLG progress to be more closely aligned with content standards. The final changes will be presented before the board for approval at a future meeting. 

Click here to see the presentation.

The Board Heard Non-binding Recommended Ratios for Specialized Instructional Support Personnel 

Senate Bill 89 requires the State Board of Education to develop non-binding recommendations for the ratio of pupils to specialized instructional support personnel. 

Specialized support personnel includes: 

  • School counselors
  • School psychologists
  • School social workers
  • School nurses
  • Speech-language pathologists
  • School library media specialists
  • Any other qualified professional

The board is not approving the recommended ratios until more research is available to inform the most appropriate ratios for Nevada’s student population.

Click here to see the presentation. 

Board Heard a Presentation about the Implementation of Financial Transparency Requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

ESSA requires State Report Cards to include per-pupil expenditure data beginning with FY19. Currently, the Nevada Report Card reports total expenditure per pupil at the school, district, and state levels, but does not differentiate between personnel and non-personnel expenses. 

The Department is reporting personnel and non-personnel expenses in Spring 2020.  By September 15, 2020, the Department will have more interactive graphics and data comparison capabilities that will be available to the public on the Nevada Report Card website.  

The board requested budget data on the Nevada Report Card website to include actual costs for teacher salaries at the school level. 

Click here to see the presentation.

Requests for future agenda items: 

  • Presentation from Teach Plus on an analysis of teachers leaving the profession

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