Reid, Sandoval Debate Education in First Big Head-To-Head

Underdog Democratic candidate for governor Rory Reid took the opportunity at a first debate today with leading GOP candidate Brian Sandoval to challenge his opponent’s commitment to spending on public education.

In his opening remarks, Reid said he has a plan to erase a $2.5 billion shortfall it the state budget without cutting education. Sandoval would cut education and lay off teachers, he said.

Sandoval, leading by double-digits in the polls, parried Reid’s attacks, saying his proposals, including given parents the choice to send their children to private schools with public funding, would not result in teacher layoffs.

Sandoval said Reid’s budget plan would cut education despite his comments to the contrary.

The one-hour debate in Las Vegas, held at the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy and broadcast statewide, did not appear to produce any serious political gain for either of the two major party candidates.

Reid emphasized his experience as chairman of the Clark County Commission, saying he has balanced budgets as big as Nevada’s for eight years without raising taxes.

“Strength and consistency is what Nevada needs in its next governor,” he said.

Sandoval said his credentials as a lawmaker, gaming regulator, attorney general and federal judge, and said Nevada’s public education needs a shakeup.

“We need to do something tough, we need to challenge the system, we need to shake up the status quo,” he said.

Both candidates talked up their ideas of giving principals, teachers and parents more power over how to spend tax dollars in the classroom as ways to improve student performance and get more mileage out of the state’s public education investment.

Sandoval said he would achieve local control by using block grants to schools to let them decide how best to spend their limited dollars.

Reid said his proposal would be to let parents take their kids out of failing schools and enrollment them in successful public schools. He called his plan true choice.

“I provide real choice, not the false choice Brian’s plan calls for,” he said.

Reid attacked Sandoval on his support of private school vouchers saying it would take $100 million from public schools to fund the private education of those who could afford it.

In response, Sandoval said choice would create competition and improve education.

Not surprisingly, both camps claimed victory immediately after the debate.

The Reid camp said in part: “If elected in November, Brian Sandoval will continue Jim Gibbons’ shameful legacy of taking money from our children’s classrooms to supplement the state budget. Brian Sandoval does not consider education a priority. Brian Sandoval does not understand the simple fact that we will never get out of this economic slump and draw new industry until we have good schools.”

Sandoval’s commented: “My education plan is a bold approach to challenging the status quo. We must end the social promotion of our children, end teacher tenure and give parents choices to seek the best possible education for their children. It’s time to get serious about reform. Our children deserve nothing less.”

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Audio clips:

Rory Reid says Brian Sandoval budget plan would cut public education:

082910Reid1 :38 in your classrooms.”

Brian Sandoval says he has plan to shake up public education system:

082910Sandoval 1 :46 will do that.”

Reid says Sandoval voucher plan bad for Nevada children:

082910Reid2 :08 a bad choice.”

Sandoval says Reid plan would cut education:

082910Sandoval2 :10 cut to education.”

  • Anonymous

    I am with those who want a do over for our choices for elected office. Neither of these candidates have a clue. Reid will turn our state into an even more socialist agenda with those who want to sit back with their hands out for others to take care of and Sandoval will balance the budget on state employees backs. State employees are taking furlough days which equals raising taxes but it is taxes on state employees only who also pay the same amount of taxes at the good old citizens of the great state who utilize those state services. What are the rest of our citizens going to give up?

  • Tony’s Take

    The good citizens of Nevada, those of us still lucky enough to have jobs have given-up any hope of raises, taken pay cuts, given up 401K plans and had to accept benefit cuts that would leave those living off the taxpayer dime crying bloody murder. And anonymous wonders what more we are to give up? Haven’t we bleed enough? Spending other peoples money and watching them suffer is fun, isn’t it. It’s fun until you run out of other peoples money.

    It’s about time the people living off our wages accept the fact that they, the public servants, are no better than anyone else and they do not deserve any greater pay grade, benefit plans or retirement plans than the rest of society. Time for anonymous to take a reality check.

  • http://nevadanewsbureau Michael

    PATHETIC PATHETIC These 2 LIARS / COWARDS
    Nevada Budget Problems
    We have LIAR politicians saying they will maintain education funds W/ no new taxes.
    With 57% short in revenue, even an idiot 3rd grader knows if you spend the same on education (currently 34%) YOU WILL BE LEFT WITH 9% to cover what was previously used for 66% of the total budget. This REQUIRES ALL OTHER BUDGET AREAS TO BE CUT 83.3%
    ADMIT THE TRUTH / FILE BANKRUPTCY / WE ARE PAST BROKE
    TWO BILLION dollars can be saved per budget by ONLY PAYING private sector compensation.
    If it is good enough for the bosses who pay these public servants then it is good enough 4 them

    Anyone dumb enough to listen to paula and gary and this dribble should do all a favor and sever their genitals as they are too dumb to reproduce.

  • Judge Naragansett

    I thought both candidates did fine for the moment. But Rory still has to answer how he plans to carry out his reforms when he is in the pocket of the biggest single deterrent to real education reform: the teachers’ union. When the spokesman for the union, Dan Hart, has already endorsed Rory, and run a million dollar campaign against Sandoval, it is hard to imagine that Rory will be able to ignore the union’s wishes, even when those wishes are bad for kids.