Wednesday, January 21, 2009

More on Nevada's budget crisis

My colleague Sylvia Lazos (here) just reminded us of an interview that our Dean, John Valery White (here) gave to In Business Las Vegas last semester (here), in which he quite rightly pointed out how devastating more budget cuts would be for our law school. Reporter Stephanie Tavares began the article by observing:
The Boyd School for the past decade has built a well-respected curriculum amid low tuition and high community support.
It recently announced increases in tuition meant to take Boyd into its second phase of building a great law school.
But state-mandated budget cuts could reverse that progress.
....
The law school already has a small faculty and staff compared with similar schools
across the nation.

I'm proud of our school and the education that our students receive here. I'm proud of the research and service that my colleagues and I do here. And I believe that having more well-educated, ethical lawyers is, yes, GOOD for Nevada and everywhere that our graduates will serve.

And I'm worried that the Governor's proposed cuts (see here) will devastate Nevada's educational system (K-12 as well as higher education).

Look: Nevada doesn't have a very diversified economy. We need to attract more businesses here, and so we need to be attractive to both employers and employees. I "get" that very high taxes might scare off businesses, but wouldn't well-below-par educational systems scare off employees? Do the children of Nevada deserve to be less prepared for the 21st century than children in most other states?

We need to think hard about how to solve the budget shortfall and attract more revenue. A mantra of "no new taxes" isn't going to help--especially when the Governor has said that he is willing to tax state employees w/a 6% pay cut. Let's spread the pain out a bit and increase revenue so that we can build a better state.

2 comments:

Gary Lyon said...

I stumbled upon your blog and had to compliment you on your commentary regarding the budget crisis in Nevada. My own experience in business, economic development and public service is that our situation is a direct result of a failure to make investments in the 'intellectual infrastructure' that drives strong economies. Nevada's love affair with the 'no new taxes' mantra has earned it the place it holds holds....last, or nearly there, in so many areas of competitiveness and quality of life. None of my technology or media colleagues invest their hard-earned money to help Nevada out of the grave it has, and continues to dig for itself. That's a terrible shame for a state that has the infrastructure in place to become the the leader in 'resource recovery' research and development.

Happy I found your site. Hope you'll add RSS feed capability someday soon...email newsletters are so passe! ;-)

Cheers, and keep dancing!
Gary Lyon
Carson City

Nancy Rapoport said...

Thanks, Gary! Please, please write to your legislators--the more that they hear from us, the better off their decisions can be.