Logo_NVDems-refreshgold 22-02

Hardy, Laxalt, Roberson and Tarkanian Rally to Privatize Nevada Public Schools

Today congressional candidates Cresent Hardy and Danny Tarkanian, gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt, and lieutenant governor candidate Michael Roberson will hold a rally to advocate for privatizing Nevada’s public schools by taking tax dollars away from the public school system and using them to pay expensive tuition at private and parochial schools.

Funneling tax dollars to private schools in Nevada is a top priority for the billionaire Koch network. This election cycle, the Koch network is spending six figures on “deep canvassing” to sell the program to Nevada voters. A previous attempt to implement this system, known as education savings accounts (ESAs), in Nevada was found to be unconstitutional by the Nevada Supreme Court. Attorney General Adam Laxalt defended the failed law, and remains “committed” to pushing for more public funding for private school tuition, while continuing to advocate for cutting $300 million every biennium from Nevada’s public schools by repealing a bipartisan funding mechanism championed by Gov. Brian Sandoval. The Koch network, which has spent north of $2.5 million to elect Laxalt this cycle, also opposes Sandoval’s school funding measure, and “took the lead” on a canvassing effort to add a ballot question that would repeal it.

Michael Roberson pushed the unconstitutional 2015 ESA law through the legislature. In the 2017 session, he threatened to block the entire state budget over the issue, a threat that failed because Gov. Sandoval did not support it.

Danny Tarkanian is running on a platform of privatizing public schools, or as he refers to them in his campaign platform, “government schools.” Danny has stated that he opposes funding for public education in Nevada, saying that it amounts to “dumping more and more taxpayer dollars down the drain.”

Cresent Hardy has long supported privatizing public education. He said claimed that it’s “a blatant lie” that schools are underfunded and has said “we don’t owe anyone an education” [Mesquite Citizen Journal, 8/13/12]. Hardy even voted to create a voucher system in Washington D.C. The system that Hardy voted to set up has come under scrutiny for financial mismanagement and poor performance.

Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Michael Soneff released the following statement:

“Hardy, Laxalt, Tarkanian and Roberson are fighting to advance the billionaire Koch network’s plan to privatize Nevada’s public schools. Nevada Democrats are united behind our public school students, teachers and parents, and are committed to protecting public education in the face of this attack. Taking money out of our public school system through vouchers isn’t going to help make Nevada’s schools better. Hardy, Laxalt, Tarkanian and Roberson are once again putting special interests ahead of Nevadans, and their out-of-touch policies will be rejected by the voters.”