Education rally planned in Carson City |

Education rally planned in Carson City

by Scott Murphy

A Wednesday rally at the state legislative building designed to boost support for more education funding will mark the first joint effort between school district and teachers’ union officials.

Both sides agree the key ingredient for convincing legislators to spend more on education is the parents of schoolchildren. The rally is scheduled at 3:15 p.m. on the steps of the legislative building, located at Fifth and Carson streets in Carson City.

Douglas County Professional Education Association President Marty Cronin said the impact parents have on lawmakers is crucial.

“What is decisive is parents communicating with their legislators,” he said.

School Board President Cheri Johnson said meetings held last week as part of a new program designed to boost support from parents were well attended.

“We’re mobilizing our parents and empowering them to go to the Legislature, testify and be a presence,” Johnson said.

Parents are using “phone trees” to encourage attendance at the rally, she said.

The parents will be equipped with sheets of frequently asked questions, Johnson added.

“We don’t expect them to be experts on educational funding. But we can’t wait two more years for teacher raises,” she said.

Cronin said raises are needed for Douglas County teachers so they can continue to “do the job” of educating the area’s children.

“Funding needs to be addressed now,” he said.

And the people best-suited to express the needs of public education are the students and parents, Cronin said.

“It’s critical that parents bring their concern to the Legislature,” Cronin said. “We’re hoping for a good turnout from parents… to make those concerns clear.”

The new joint effort, which began last month, stems from both sides realizing more money from the state is critical.

The last round of negotiations between the union and the school district were “particularly discordant,” Cronin said.

“If Douglas County schools are going to continue doing an exceptional job, superior teachers must be hired and retained,” Cronin said. “It is time for the community to come to terms with the impact of the teacher shortage and to support the best interests of its children.

“There’s a perception teachers need to work together,” he said. “The money has to come from the state to meet the county’s needs. Now is the time to work together, to try and make that a reality.”


What: “Our children can’t wait” rally

When: Wednesday, 3:15 p.m.

Where: Steps of Legislative building in Carson City

Information: Call Maggie Allen at the Douglas County School District office, 782-5134.