A blog on progressive news and politics on both the California and Nevada sides of Lake Tahoe which aims at helping to elect Democrats and Turn Tahoe Blue. The blog is written from Germany by a former German exchange student at George Whittell High School in Zephyr Cove, Nevada.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

JoEtta Brown: "Every Student Should Have The Opportunity For A Quality Education"

Read part I of my interview with JoEtta Brown here.

Today's second part of the interview JoEtta Brown, Nevada Assembly candidate in the 39th district, has given to Turn Tahoe Blue focuses on the most important issues to Nevada voters this year:

What are the most pressing issues for voters in the 39th district?

Based on my conversations with voters through-out Assembly District 39 it is the state budget that most often is discussed. My budget priorities will be healthcare, education, security and community.

Healthcare: Nevada should take the lead in developing solutions to improve healthcare access and affordability. One in five Nevadans does not have health insurance. This is another area where coalitions of the state government, private business and representatives of the public should work together to propose affordable, workable solutions. Other states are developing innovative group health insurance offerings that target the uninsured. Through innovative risk management affordable health coverage options are being made available to small businesses and the self-employed. The legislature should analyze these programs and determine the feasibility and the costs associated with adopting the best aspects of these plans for Nevada. Once a thorough study has been made, public hearings at the legislature and in our districts should be held to educate and receive constituent feedback. Then the legislature should take concrete steps to institute an acceptable program to improve healthcare access and affordability for Nevadans.

Education: To improve the state’s education system we must first provide our students with the books and supplies they need to learn while we strive to improve the efficiency of the state’s education system and the effectiveness of our educational programs. The curriculum in our schools must prepare students to obtain higher paying jobs rather than simply entry-level, minimum wage jobs. We must empower our teachers to challenge their students with advanced education in mathematics, science and the arts. The curriculum should also provide students the specialized skills training needed in local trades. This alternative path to conventional education could utilize Public/Private/Government partnerships working to offer specialized training-on-the-job experience. During the last Legislative session the first round of deliberations were concluded to support full-day Kindergarten, and I support full-day Kindergarten. It will give the very young a head start. I do not support a voucher system for school choice. We must find ways to make all of our public schools state-of-the-art. Every student should have the opportunity for a quality education and should be proud of the school they attend.

The state should help fund school construction in the wake of the 2005 property tax cap that reduced revenues to county school districts. It is important that early in the next session a status update be made by school districts regarding the impact of the property tax cap so that the issue can be properly assessed. If some of the 2006 surplus over the long term is wisely invested, a portion of the interest earned from the surplus could be used for school construction, capital improvements, and maintenance.

The Millennium Scholarship has played a significant part in the educational life of many students. While we need to strength the requirements and adjust penalties for abuse of the scholarship, it must remain and be fully funded. Some of the funding can come from the budget surplus by using a wise investment theory and over time some of the interest from the investment can be used for the Millennium Scholarship.

Community: Wise investments in community include investments for water that is clean, safe and adequate to meet our needs. It means smart growth that is well planned and managed, and it can mean incentives to encourage the use of renewable energy or the development of new innovate industries in Nevada. Our economy must be kept vital to provide good jobs and allow businesses to prosper.

Security: It is important that AD39 residents are safe and secure. This means our national guard, law enforcement, first responders, public health professionals, those maintaining our public works and public service providers (whom are often taken for granted) are given training, equipment and support. It means we are as prepared as we can reasonably be to provide public safety in times of natural or man-made disaster. We must hire more qualified law enforcement officers to meet the growing demands of our communities.

To find out how you can help JoEtta Brown win click on the links below:

JoEtta Brown's Campaign Website

Contribute to JoEtta Brown

Read part III of my interview with JoEtta Brown: "There Must Be A Vision For The Future"


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