Today, Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt doubled down on his intention to take Nevada’s public education system in a different direction than his fellow Republican, current governor Brian Sandoval.
Speaking at a Republican Men’s Club event in Las Vegas, Laxalt said he’s “committed to pushing for funding” for education savings accounts (ESAs), which would allow select families to use taxpayer dollars towards private school tuition. During the 2017 legislative session, Gov. Sandoval declined to call a special session in order to give Republicans in the legislature more time to secure funding for their partisan priority.
And when Sandoval’s bipartisan education funding initiative was brought up, Laxalt “wrinkle[d] his nose,” clearly distancing himself from the plan that brings in nearly $200 million per year to Nevada’s struggling public schools by making corporations pay their fair share of taxes.
Education funding has driven a wedge between Laxalt and Gov. Sandoval throughout the campaign cycle. Sandoval has said that Laxalt’s plan to repeal the Commerce Tax, which provides nearly $200 million annually to Nevada schools, would “hurt kids.” During an interview with Jon Ralston, Sandoval declined to endorse Laxalt, saying he couldn’t support someone who would devastate the state by cutting his key education funding program.
Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Helen Kalla released the following statement:
“While Nevada’s public schools continue to struggle, Adam Laxalt wants to slash nearly $200 million from their annual budget in exchange for a corporate giveaway and a taxpayer handout to private schools. Laxalt’s backwards education priorities would drag Nevada in the wrong direction, undo the bipartisan progress we’ve made, and make it harder for our students and teachers to reach their full potential.”