Nevada Ed-Watch 7/15/21

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 9:00 AM or 2:00 PM. Click here to see the 2021 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. Members of the public may provide public comment in writing via email; public comment will be accepted via email for the duration of the meeting and shared with the State Board of Education during the public comment periods. Public comment may be emailed to

Click here for a list of all State Board Members.

Thursday, July 15, 2021
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 comment regarding:

  • Concern over masks and vaccine rollout for students in Carson City
  • Concern for the welfare and safety of Carson City students in regards to vaccines, masks, and the city’s school reopening plan
  • Concerns regarding the welfare and morale of educational support professionals

President’s Report

The president and board welcomed a new board member, Russell Hecht, Superintendent of Schools in Pershing County and the immediate past president of the Nevada Association of School Superintendents (NASS). He will replace current board member, Mike Walker. 

Superintendent’s Report

  • 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant Awards: The 21st Century Community Learning Center program supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. The Nevada Department of Education announced the award of $7M to 13 partners across the state to support out-of-school activities.
  • Nevada Association of School Superintendents (NASS) Conference: The board discussed the upcoming NASS conference. Ongoing details will be provided throughout the development of the conference.
  • Federal Relief Funding Update: Nevada has received roughly $9B in federal relief funds. Nevada school districts receiving fund allocations are required to submit a plan for the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services to the Nevada Department of Education by July 14, 2021. By September 10, 2021, districts are also required to submit their ARP ESSER funding plans.
  • Additional updates:
    • The board shared congratulations for Sarah Nick, the new Education Programs Professional, who is moving from the executive team to the Office of Student and School Supports. 
    • The Division of Business and Support Services has been renamed Student Support Services. 
    • The board wished Board President Ortiz a happy birthday. 

Board Approved Consent Agenda 

Consent agenda highlights: 

Board Heard Update on the 81st Legislative Session

The Board heard updates following the close of the 81st Legislative Session, including an update regarding the Pupil-Centered Funding Plan.

Legislation filed on the Nevada Department of Education’s behalf and successfully passed: 

  • SB439: Pupil-Centered Funding Plan
  • AB38: Work-based learning
  • AB67: Discipline clarity 
  • AB417: School bus safety
  • SB36: Crises management 
  • SB215: Blue ribbon commission 
  • AB419: Standards

The presentation also covered all of the bills that will be managed by the State Board of Education in order to ensure proper reporting and accountability. 

The Nevada Department of Education is currently in the regulatory work and stakeholder engagement section of the 2021-2022 legislative implementation plan. The next stage will be forming and conducting interim committees before beginning the budget and bill draft requests for the 2023 legislative session. 

2021 legislative session funding bills: 

  • Standard Budget Bills
    • AB-494: Appropriations Act (general Funds)
    • SB-459: Authorizations Act (federal funds)
    • SB-458: K-12 funding bill 
  • Budget Implementation Bill
    • SB-439: Pupil-Centered Funding Plan 
  • Other Education Finance Bills
    • AB-495: Mining tax bill, ARP funds for education 
    • SB-463: PCFP – Supplemental payments to charter schools. 

Board members shared requests for clarification on requirement changes of the board in terms of regulatory matters, requests for per-pupil spending data in Nevada in comparison to other states, and concerns over infusion of federal funds without a plan for lasting change once these funds are no longer available.

Click here to view the legislative update presentation.
Click here to view a presentation on the budget approved during the legislative session and the Pupil-Centered Funding Plan. 

Board Approved Vision Statement and Goals Aligned to Silver State Governance

The Board approved a new organizational vision statement: All Nevada students are equipped and feel empowered to attain their vision of success.

The Board will continue their work regarding the development of goals to monitor student outcomes as outlined by Silver State Governance. As part of this work, the SBOE has attended Silver State governance training and conducted a self-assessment in order to grow in student focused governance and create goals to monitor student outcomes.

The board also approved two final goals and discussed one proposed goal aligned to these outcomes:  

  • Approved Goals
    • The Nevada Education System will move up in state rankings from 18th as of September 2020 to Top 10 by July 2026 as measured by the academic portions of the Quality Counts K-12 student achievement data.
    • Increase the overall number of students receiving their CCR diploma from 23.9% on July 31, 2021 to 50% on July 31, 2026 and eliminate gaps of student subgroups while raising the overall average. 
  • Proposed Goal
    • Improve statewide culture and climate survey from the statewide score of 365 on July 31, 2020 to Y on July 31, 2026. This goal is on hold until the SBOE can receive a presentation with accurate data  

Throughout the goal development process, the SBOE discussed appropriate language for each goal, what goal benchmarks should be set in regards to the state’s ranking and diploma attainment, and their concerns for goal success based on varying statewide and region-specific factors. 

After approving the vision statement and two goals, the SBOE discussed guardrails for the two approved goals. Guardrails are “thou shalt not” phrases, the bumpers that will keep the board in line. 


  • The State Superintendent will not propose major decisions that pertain to these goals to the Board without first having engaged students, families, and staff. 
  • We will not negatively impact student achievement of any student subgroup based on these goals. 
    • The above guardrails were not voted on, but they were decided as being the main guardrails as of now. The board wanted to pass them on to the State Superintendent for review and discussion. 

Other considered guardrails: 

  • We will not overinflate star ratings over individual student outcomes. 
  • We will not move from a standard diploma without the rigor of the coursework to achieve the CCR diploma. 
  • We will not allow our overall graduation rate to drop. 
  • We will not narrow the breadth and rigor of curriculum being taught. 
  • We will not consider the results of student data without also considering their social emotional and mental health of the students and staff. 
  • We will not allow academic gaps between subgroups. 

The State Superintendent and staff will come back with their thoughts and review on the approved goals. The SBOE will then finalize their third goal, guardrails, and decide on interim goals. 

Click here to view the evaluation rubric.

Future Agenda Items

The board submitted requests for future agenda items including brainstorming possible regulatory options and a review of recent reorganization outcomes.

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Nevada Ed-Watch 11/1/19

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

State Public Charter School Authority (SPCSA)

What is the SPCSA & what are they responsible for? The SPCSA sponsors and oversees public charter schools across the State of Nevada. The Authority consists of nine appointed members responsible for overseeing educational and operational standards, and holding sponsored schools accountable to the academic achievement of students.

How often does the SPCSA Board meet? SPCSA members meet once monthly– on Fridays.

Click here for SPCSA meeting schedule and materials.

Can community members engage at SPCSA Board Meetings? All meetings are held publicly at the Nevada Department of Education building in Carson City and the Nevada Department of Education building in Las Vegas (1st floor boardroom). Members of the public are invited to attend at either location. A time for public comment is provided at the conclusion of each agenda item and at the conclusion 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 SPCSA Members.

Click here for a list of all SPCSA sponsored schools.

Friday, October 4, 2019
State Public Charter School Authority Board Meeting

Click here to see the meeting agenda

What happened at this meeting?

The Board Heard about Changes to the Public Comment Process

Rather than holding public comment for all agenda items until the end of each board meeting, the process was updated to allow members of the public to comment after each agenda item. 

Staff Presented Updates on the Development of the SPCSA Strategic Plan & Accompanying Growth Management Plan (in accordance with AB 462)

SPCSA staff presented updates on proposed language on the vision, mission, and values of the State Public Charter School Authority for board feedback. The board discussed the inclusion of “innovation” as a component of the vision statement.

The board also heard the SPCSA staff’s proposed five-year goals:

  1. Provide families with access to high quality schools
  2. Increase the diversity of students served by SPCSA schools 
  3. Ensure that every SPCSA student succeeds – including those from historically underperforming subgroups 

The board discussed the inclusion of attendance metrics in the goals. 

SPCSA staff proposed four (4) overarching strategies to achieve these goals:

  1. Proactive Oversight
  2. Strategic Growth 
  3. Expanded Support 
  4. Reward Progress

Staff will present more specific actions aligned to each strategy above at the next board meeting. 

Click here to see the Strategic Planning presentation. 

Click here to see the draft Growth Management Plan. 

SPCSA staff will present a final draft of both the full Strategic Plan and the Growth Management Plan for approval at the December 13th board meeting. 

Public Comment: A school leader shared concerns about needing more time to build a school culture before receiving a star rating for the first year of operation. Another school leader shared concerns about performance ratings for alternative schools.

Upcoming Milestones

  • December 13th: Review and board approval of final Strategic Plan and Growth Management Plan 
  • January 1st: Growth Management Plan submitted to the Nevada Department of Education and the Legislative Commission on Education

Board Heard a Presentation about SPCSA-Sponsored Shining Star Schools

SPCSA staff recognized the nine (9) state-designated Shining Star schools that are authorized by the SPCSA. A Shining Star school is a high-performing school serving a high percentage of students in poverty. A high-performing school is  defined by achieving a 4 or 5-Star rating on the most recent Nevada School Performance Framework.

Click here to see the Shining Star schools presentation.

The board also heard a presentation from teachers, students, and school leaders at Mater Academy of Nevada Mountain Vista Campus and Mater Academy of Nevada Bonanza Campus on its academic performance (both campuses were recognized as Shining Star schools).  

Click here to see the Mater Academy presentation.

The Board Approved Charter Contract Renewals for Mater Academy and Beacon Academy

SPCSA staff recommended renewal of Mater Academy of Nevada’s contract for a 5-year term beginning July 1st, 2020. 

Click here to see the Mater Academy charter contract renewal recommendation.

SPCSA staff also recommended renewal of Beacon Academy of Nevada for a six-year term, beginning July 1, 2020.

The board heard the following remarks about Beacon Academy from SPCSA staff:

  • Beacon is the only school operating under an Alternative Performance Framework due to the unique population it serves
  • Beacon continues to serve credit deficient students and seeks expansion to serve more students who are credit deficient

Click here to see the Beacon Academy charter contract renewal recommendation.

Board Approved New School Application Process

SPCSA staff provided an overview of the process for new charter schools to apply for authorization under the SPCSA. For the Summer application cycle, new charters must submit Letters of Intent to apply by March 15th. 

The updated version of the application requires an applicant to demonstrate alignment to the SPCSA’s Demographic Needs Assessment, in addition to the school’s Academic, Operations, and Financial plans.

Click here to see the presentation.

SPCSA Executive Director’s Report: 

Report Highlights:

  • 7 schools submitted requests for contract amendments, which will be brought to the December board meeting.
  • 18 school site evaluations were conducted last year, with 42 remaining to complete. 
  • Student demographic and enrollment data for SPCSA schools is anticipated in December.

The Board Discussed Updates to the Board Calendar

The board added a meeting on December 17th, when they will review nine (9) pending charter applications. The regular December board meeting is scheduled for December 13th. 

Click here to see the long-range calendar, including 2020 meeting dates. 

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