Let's get logical

Listen up for a second. In every discussion we’ve ever heard about diversifying Nevada’s economy, one thing has been made clear: In order for Nevada’s future prospects to improve, education on all levels must improve.

So, can we at least start our discussion about the Education Initiative there?

Schools need to improve to increase odds that Nevadans will have a more livable future. Every facet of education from pre-kindergarten to graduate schools to state and county administration needs to improve. Every aspect from capital funding to curriculum to accountability and transparency needs to improve.

That is our conviction. It was not established on these pages, but in the executive summaries of nearly every single diversification and economic study done in Nevada during the last 20 years.

Education in Nevada must improve at all levels. Once we accept that premise, we can move on to tackling the real issues. If we recognize the truth, then we, as a state, can have the courage of our convictions.

Material improvements always cost money. If we’re improving our house, we must at least purchase materials, even if we can do the labor ourselves. It’s the rare individual who can do plumbing, electricity, carpentry and masonry. Permitting will cost money. There are always unavoidable costs for improvement.

Simple conditional statement: If improvement requires money, then there will be costs attached to improving education.

The Education Initiative is a tax that will be levied upon businesses that gross more than $1 million annually. But we’ll all feel it. Those businesses will pass it on to the rest of us as best they can. It won’t be available to be applied to all aspects of education—it may not even be applied to those aspects that need it most. All taxes have negatives.

But if we assume a brighter economic future for the state is also good for all of us who live in it, and we remember our conviction that the first cultural change that needs to happen is with the improvement of education at all levels, then we know that we must pay for it because we all benefit from it. For example, an improved economic forecast will improve property values for those retired people who don’t generally fund education initiatives.

Nevada requires a legislative supermajority for tax increases. That law got on the Nevada Constitution by the will of the people. The people did not assume we’d never have reason to raise another tax. But even at the time of its passage, we didn’t assume that members of legislative bodies would be afraid to do what is necessary for the people of the state, but we’ve been shown differently, particularly when the state legislature tried to pass the buck for a tax hike to the Washoe County Commission.

A tax that will affect us all must be passed by a simple majority of the people. It’s the only method to improve education available to us.

It’s impossible to say that the Education Initiative will pass, but we can say that if education needs to improve, then it should pass.

It’s only logical.