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Fixing education: The bulldozer solution
by Andrew Barbano
Mar 27, 2013 | 2783 views | 1 1 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
What are the poor taxpayers to do? They got raped and pillaged for years by lagging assessments and preferential tax breaks for the chosen few. Now that property taxes are low, state and local governments are falling apart. What to do?

The first step is for someone to say you can't have your cake and eat it, too. The time has come to make some hard decisions that go to the core of Nevada life as we know it.

Perhaps anyone currently raising a family here should consider moving somewhere else.

Our school systems in Nevada — from kindergarten to graduate school — are shamefully underfunded and have been for years.

Now comes a report that Nevada ranks dead last among 51 states (behind DC, Puerto Rico or perhaps Guam) in the amount of state support for higher education.

Why let UNR and UNLV degenerate into Reno State and Las Vegas State colleges? Why don't we consider shutting both schools down altogether? Let's make Nevada live up to the reputation it already has all across the country — that of a boomtown mining camp.

Perhaps it's time to realize that we really don't have a state government and that we've never had one. Nevada's state government is still basically a territorial administration.

Insurance regulation in Nevada is non-existent. Health care costs are totally out of control. (The mentally disabled) are still left to die through improper care.

DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN. All of the above was lifted from a 5 October 1982 speech I gave at the appropriately named Depression Deli, now a Reno topless joint.

In the 7 Feb. 2009 Tribune, I added: "More than a quarter century has now passed. That economic crunch was followed by another a decade later in which the budget was again balanced on the backs of the physically and mentally disabled. Now, here we are again in the same damned place, only worse."

Was I overstating the case when I said we might as well close the universities?

"We might just as well close the campuses down," said Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Gomorrah South, reacting to Gov. Jim the Dim's 2009 Rape of the State Address. Great minds think alike.

Former Sen. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas, has proven entirely correct when he said a decade ago that growth had stopped paying for itself and it was time for gambling to pay its fair share. Never happened. Ditto with mining.

The legislature will again fail to discharge its constitutionally mandated duty to adequately fund education.

Bulldozers remain the only solution. If you've got kids, get outta Dodge.

HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL. Tonight (March 28) at Circus Circus in Reno we prove that the great work continues and the dream will never die. César Chávez Celebration XI happens starting at 6:30 p.m. A few tickets remain available. Details at

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. 

Pardon my Spanglish.

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano is a 44-year Nevadan and editor of, and E-mail
Comments-icon Post a Comment
March 30, 2013
Have you ever considered that the state of education in Nevada, and especially the legislature's failure to adequately fund it, is by design, and not by accident.

Do hotels, casinos, construction, mining, retail, and service industries; the industries that fund our state political candidates want, or need, an educated work force? Aren't uneducated, and therefore low paying jobs, essential to the current Nevada economy?

Isn't it easier to maintain the status quo and blame teachers, and their unions, when national attention is focused on Nevada's poor educational showing?

All you have to do is look at what legislation has been passed and who it is directed at.
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