LAS VEGAS (AP) - Republicans have sharply criticized university
system Chancellor Jim Rogers' comments about parents in his State
of the System address.
Rogers, who has been fighting Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons'
proposed drastic budget cuts to higher education, took aim at an
apathetic public in Friday's speech.
"Your only relationship with the education system is to ship
your unprepared kids to school, not with the expectation of
success, but with the demand that an education system, inadequately
funded, develop and/or repair children that you as a parent did not
prepare for school or support while your children attended
school," Rogers said.
In a joint statement, Assemblyman Ed Goedhart, R-Amargosa
Valley, and Nevada Republican Party Chair Sue Lowden said it's
unfair to blame parents for education failures.
"Jim Rogers owes every caring parent in the state a public
apology," they said. "For Chancellor Rogers to blame the failure
of the government-run education system on parents is nothing short
Andy Matthews, vice president of communications for the
conservative think-tank Nevada Policy Research Institute, said
legislative spending on higher education increased 60 percent
between the 2002 and 2007 fiscal years.
"Chancellor Rogers provided an outstanding example of what
happens when Nevada's public officials choose to engage in
finger-pointing at the expense of taking responsibility or offering
innovative solutions to our fiscal challenges," Matthews said in a
Rogers, in his address, said parents might have to face tax
increases and sacrifice so that their children can go to college.
"You have to take part in your child's education," Rogers
said. "Your responsibility does not stop as they walk out the door
to catch the bus."
State Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, said
in a statement that some sacrifices, including cuts to education,
might be necessary.
But Horsford said Gibbons' proposed overall 36 percent cut to
higher education is "too much."
Under the governor's plan, the cuts would be roughly 50 percent
at University of Nevada campuses in Las Vegas and Reno.
Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)