Wednesday, October 18, 2017

VETTE’S VEGAS VOICE: Serving learners in need

October 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Conversation

Yvette Williams

BY YVETTE WILLIAMS

The New Nevada Education Funding Plan provides funding allocations to over 28,000 students attending 102 Clark County School District campuses — more than $34 million to specifically serve the needs of students who rank in the lowest 25% of proficiency rates in Nevada. Under the law, the Nevada Department of Education (NDE) shall provide an additional per-pupil amount of $1,200 to serve identified students, and you can find a complete list of allocated funds and school designations at www.CCBlackCaucus.com.

The good news is this: Within the Clark County School District, every onestar and two-star school is now served by either Victory, Zoom, or SB 178 funding. In the three-star school range, 53 schools were funded — which collectively covers about 58% of all eligible students in three-star schools. While many Black students are doing well and either meet or exceed academic standards, a disproportionately large percentage do not meet grade level proficiencies. In fact, Black students have the highest percentage of students by race and ethnicity in that category. Unfortunately, this crisis is largely ignored in Nevada media and policy circles.

All SB 178 funding must be held in a separate account and not co-mingled with other funds. It is important — especially during the CCSD budget crisis — that parents/guardians, students, and school administrators use SB 178 dollars only as specified in the law. NDE explains that schools risk future funding if they don’t meet the benchmarks they’ve put in place, or divert the designated funds away from serving the needs of the specified students. Funds can be used as follows:

• Extended learning opportunities

• Academic interventions

• Early childhood education

• Any other strategy designed by the public school and approved by the Department

• Parent and family engagement programs or services

• School climate and culture programs

• Social, psychological, or health care services to pupils and their families

• Academic Interventions

• Professional Development

• Reimbursement for coursework required to obtain endorsement relating to English language acquisition and development

• Retention Incentives

This article is the second in a two-part series. Yvette Williams is a community advocate and Chair/ Founder of the Clark County Black Caucus, a non-partisan community organization driven 100% by volunteer members registered to vote. Follow her blog at www.YvetteBWilliams.com and on twitter @YvetteBWilliams or contact her at ClarkCountyBlackCaucus @gmail.com for more information.

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