It’s back to school time. Everyone has been busy preparing for a new school year and it has spurred A LOT of questions about the state of funding for education in southern Nevada. People see us spending money on new projects and they rightfully get concerned that all of the money SHOULD be going to education.
What the ?!?!?!!? is up with funding education southern Nevada? Does the city contribute money to the school district?
It’s a common misconception that we do fund education. In fact, the city has no direct role over education or funding but we know it’s important to residents. Nevada is ranked 49/50 states after all so we have stepped up to supplement education through before- and after-school programming and community partnerships designed to improve educational achievement, attendance and graduation rates for pre-k to post-secondary students.
In 2016, we even formed a new department called Youth Development and Social Innovation led by Dr. Lisa Morris Hibbler to focus on education efforts.
We offer programming through Safekey, our before/after school program, IGNITE, a before/after school program for middle schoolers.
We even have a new program called Reinvent schools that focuses on helping 7,400 students in nine of our lowest performing schools. The programs target: increasing literacy for lowest performing students, reducing chronic absenteeism for habitual students, promoting literacy for students and their families, introducing students to self-regulation methods, promoting healthy living, and proving before- and after-school enrichment.
We’re also getting kids into pre-school through the Strong Start Las Vegas Academies including a mobile classroom coming this fall; our two pre schools serve more than 400 early learners from infant to five –year-old. In Clark County, just 31 percent of 3- and 4-year-old children are enrolled in preschool, according to 2011–2015 estimates from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. This makes this programming critical.
We also have summer learning academies and a teen program called Batteries Included. This program is located at 15 high schools and three recreation centers throughout the city and serves more than 500 young people annually.
You can learn more about all that we’re doing at lasvegasnevada.gov/education
What the ?!?!!?! is a safe school route?
Safe school routes are the suggested routes to school for children coming from surrounding residential communities. The city has an engineering technician with the Public Works team that monitors the routes to ensure safety for commutes.
The technician works closely with Metro on high crash locations and with the Clark County School Department (CCSD) on improving the safe routes. Their duties include visiting all of the safe school routes and evaluating cross walks, speed limits, etc. to figure out which route is the safest. They also monitor how traffic and pedestrians get in and out of school zones during pick up and drop off.
Metro and CCSD Police Department held a joint event during the first week of school to bring awareness to pedestrian and driver safety, which resulted in 91 traffic citations for drivers that did not stop for pedestrians. Parents, make sure your children are safe when crossing. Remind them to walk in groups, stop at every lane and make eye-contact with the driver before crossing the street.
And parents, make sure you’re being safe. Instead of pulling up, honking at them and motioning for kids to cross in the middle of the road, it is suggested to park a block away and let your kid walk the rest of the way to school to cut back on traffic and don’t speed after you drop them off. And remember, U-turns in school zones are NEVER allowed.
With more than 322,000 children in 360 schools in the Valley, it’s important that drivers and pedestrians are safe on the roads. If you want to learn more about safe school routes visit cityoflasvegas.link/saferoute
You can catch up on past episodes at lasvegasnevada.gov/podcast or use #VegasTMI. Want to submit a question for our next episode of what the?!?!? Head to cityoflasvegas.link/ask