Archives for category: Nevada

Last spring, you may recall, the CARES Act included $13.2 billion for public and charter schools. In addition, $660 billion was allocated to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses and nonprofits that were struggling to survive due to the pandemic. Public schools were not allowed to apply for PPP. However, many charter schools learned through their lobbyists that they could apply for PPP. In other words, they double-dipped. They took the $134,500 or so that was available in the initial allotment for each public school. Then they went to the PPP and took another bite, which was far bigger than the funding allowed to public schools.

Which raises the interesting question: Are charter schools “public schools” or are they small businesses or private nonprofits? After all, public schools were not allowed to ask for PPP money, but over a thousand charter schools struck gold.

Nevada has a reputation for some of the worst charter schools in the country, but that doesn’t matter. Some of its charters really hit the big time with PPP funding. In 2015, CREDO investigator Margaret Raymond said to charter leaders in Ohio: “Be very glad that you have Nevada, so you are not the worst.”

PPP awards ranged from $168,500 to the online charter Leadership Academy of Nevada to $4.6 million to Doral Academy to support its five brick-and-mortar campuses in Southern Nevada. Many of the forgivable loans were coordinated and handled by the same entity, Academica Nevada, a regional branch of the Florida-based for-profit company that manages some 200 charter schools nationwide and has a strong presence in Nevada.

The charters that qualified for PPP money did so because they are incorporated as nonprofits, something Nevada law allows them to do. Even pre-pandemic, being a nonprofit is often financially beneficial because it opens up additional funding opportunities, such as grants through the federal Charter School Program.

Scan the list in the article: Democracy Prep received $1 million; Odyssey Charter Schools, $2.28 million; Pinecrest Academy, $4.6 million; Sports Leadership and Management Academy (SLAM), $800,000. Pinecrest and SLAM are part of the for-profit Academica chain; SLAM was started by rapper Pitbull, widely celebrated for his misogynistic lyrics.

Amber Phillips explains in the Washington Post why Trump will continue holding indoor rallies to mostly maskless people, despite the warnings of public health officials.

The president held an indoor rally Sunday in Nevada and a large indoor event in Phoenix on Monday. More could be coming.

And reporting indicates that he thinks flouting public health advice is the right way to rally his base.

But that probably comes at the expense of picking up moderates. Polls show a majority of Americans support wearing masks and taking precautions against the virus. Not to mention hat this indoor-rally-practice creates the very real risk that the president is helping spread coronavirus in key swing states rather than slow it. But it’s what Trump wants, so it looks like it will continue. The Post’s Anne Gearan and Josh Dawsey report:

“Many around the president are acutely aware that a potential surge in coronavirus cases and deaths close to the election could be disastrous, according to campaign and White House aides, but they are mostly bowing to Trump’s desire to pack the house.”

In other words, he is endangering the lives of his most ardent supporters because he wants to impress them with his heroics. He is removed feom the crowd and is not in danger. They are in danger, not him. He doesn’t press the flesh. Their exhalations do not reach him. His friend Herman Cain died of coronavirus shortly after attending Trump’s rally in Tulsa. Coincidence? Tulsa exoerienced a surge in cases two weeks after the rally.

Trump may be a one-man super spreader.

Not a good look after 200,000 Americans have died.

But maybe this bravado impresses his MAGA base.

Andre Agassi entered the charter school industry in Las Vegas, where he opened his own charter school. After many setbacks and high staff turnover, his school landed on the state’s list of low-performing schools and was turned over to another charter operator. Agassi decided he was in the wrong end of the business.

Agassi joined a partnership with an investor to build charter schools, and they struck gold.

Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities sold the Franklin Academy at 5000 Southwest 207th Terrace in Pembroke Pines for $60.5 million to Erudite Properties, led by Scott Sznitken, Executive Director of Florida Charter Foundation, records show…

Turner-Agassi bought the property in 2015 for $10.1 million. The K-12 school was constructed in 2016. In total, the campus spans 40 acres, according to its website.

Turner-Agassi’s strategy is to act as a “bridge developer” for charter schools, fronting the cost for site selection and construction and then leasing the property to a charter school operator. The group then sells the property to the charter operator once it reaches its enrollment goal, according to Turner-Agassi’s website.

The strategy has proven successful in the past. In 2016, Turner-Agassi sold a Boynton Beach charter school for $22.3 million. The same year it also sold Franklin Academy in Cooper City for $20 million.

Turner-Agassi has developed 96 schools serving 48,976 students across the country. The fund plans to invest an additional $500 million to develop 65 more schools serving another 25,000 students, according to its website.

Angie Sullivan teaches in a Title 1 elementary school in Carson County, Nevada. She teaches the children who were left behind.

She sent this post to every legislator in Nevada:

A small group of vocal teachers, parents, and activists have been publicly concerned about national public school privatization for two decades.  
Diane Ravitch is the leader of that pack.  
Her new book is coming out soon.  
Her last books included characters who are national culprits in destroying American Public Schools.  Some have come from my state of Nevada.  
Reform was meant to change a system of education that needed to change.  Still needs change. Admittedly we need to improve.  No one argues against that.  Teachers have always been willing to improve.  
This reform was not ever meant to improve.  
Change came.   The wrong kind.  
Big bad horrific and public school destroying change came.   
It was bad change bought by corporations who do not love children, will not love children, and seek money even if harm comes to children. 
Wrecking ball.  
National level well funded and crushing. 
Reformers will not use the data – they supposedly worshipped – to admit – they were wrong. 
Devastatingly wrong. 
Wrong in ways that were really destructive over two generations.   Destroying the central fabric of America – attacking our local public schools.  Kids were warehoused in experiments.  Kids without teachers.   Kids hooked up to innovations that made money but did not educated.  
Billions spent on reforms:  disruption, return on investment, testing, take over, turnaround, triggering, attacking teachers, standardization, score chasing has barely moved American Students on the NAEP Assessments.  
The data is back. 
Business reformers failed.   Return on investment was zero.  
Reform has been successful at systematically privatizing huge amounts of education cash.  It has segregated.  It has devastated.  It has destroyed public school communities.  And disenfranchised students are further behind than ever before. 
The teachers were crushed and millions left. 
This expensive business-type reform did not improve education.  
Unfortunately, the folks driving reform were not teachers – nor were they interested in authentic education.   Billionaires who were successful in business took over.  They bought the top levels of government and spread cash from the top down.  Both parties.   Anyone with power.   And policy makers and leadership sold out hard. Money taken from public schools to be spent on scams and fads. 
Billions wasted.   
Money and people who chase dollars should never be in charge of education policy.  Neoliberals and corporations who hide from liability will never create the synergy, caring, and community building that teachers can do in a school building. 
Now the billionaires know – public school teachers will fight.  Activists will engage.  Those who love children will activate. 
Take that Goliath.
A band of loud people who care – will fight with any small stone we can find. 
We are not scared – because we are right.  
Time for policy makers and leadership to buy a book.  
O God hear the words of my mouth – hold us in Your Hand because we are small against those seeking to harm kids.  
The Teacher,
Angie Sullivan. 


Angie Sullivan is a teacher in a Title 1 elementary school in Las Vegas. She regularly writes the members of the Nevada legislature to share her outrage about the underfunding of the state’s neediest schools and the state’s waste of money on charter schools, which dominate the state’s list of the lowest performing schools.

Here is her latest:


Peter Greene in Forbes
Still Asleep At The Wheel 
What happened?  
Pile of fraud and graft.  
These charter titles got money and did what?   
This charter changed its name many many times.   It is difficult to follow its trail – 100, One Hundred, Imagine at different locations.   Is this graft? fraud?  Imagine still has a failing charter campus opened? What happened to the two additional campuses?  $300,000 disappeared with change in names and admin?   This is what lack of accountability and transparency does. 
What happened to the Montessori in Carson?   I believe it is still there – complaining about cash.  These charters worry me because they never have a testing year so zero data and zero accountability. This is what lack of accountability and transparency does.   They received funding but complain about no money and blame Vegas.  They may try to get the Silver State/Argent Building.   They do not serve the poor. 
Silver State Charter School changed its name to Argent and lost almost all its students.  Sounds like the receiver had concerns because no one attended the “distance” low performer school.  No one ever graduated.   As in zero.   Perhaps Joshua Kern knows where the $440,000 went?   No one graduated.  This is the first charter I have seen “closed” by the charter authority.  I do not think it had any students left and that is what actually closed it. 
School of the deaf went bankrupt.  Im surprised it did not go into receivership and just get more money like Quest, Silver State and others.  The Nevada Tax Payer pays millions to keep financially floundering  charters open. 
E-TECHS had a facebook and a twitter for $300,000.  This was in 2011 and they never opened?   What happened to the money? 
Gardnerville’s Sierra Crest closed in 2010.  Sounds like the local school board was not putting up with low quality.  What happened to the $172,000? 
Did Washoe Team A even exist at all?  Where did the $220,000 go?  
Nevada folks need to demand to see this money.   
If Nevada Senator Scott Hammond is hiding behind a non-profit management system – we need to know that too.    Managing 5 charters for free?  What kind of accountability and transparency is this?  
There needed to be a charter moratorium for good reason.   Rest in Power Tyrone Thompson who knew that.  Playing games like this with money when Nevada has none is crazy. 
We see you Gulenist Soner Tarim 👀 Agenda 4a.   How much money are you bringing to Nevada Strong?  Expert at getting grants and not opening?   Everyone should protest every Nevada Charter Meeting to close that Gulen Charter down.  Nevada does not need anymore scamming known bad actors. 
None of these December 2019 charter applicants should be granted anything.  These scams are too much. 
Asleep at the wheel and gone off the road and crashed into a ditch.  
This is bad. 
Angie Sullivan. 

Angie Sullivan regularly writes blast emails to every member of the state legislature and to the state’s journalists. Here is her latest:

CCEA members voted at a General Meeting yesterday to raise dues.  
Those teacher union dues will be used to campaign for a billion dollars.  
Yes, billion. 
Yes, dollars.  
We need to think big to win big.  
Teachers need those funds to fund class-size reduction.   We need additional teachers.   We need additional classrooms. 
Nevada teachers have the largest class-sizes in the nation.  
It is not reasonable to keep piling more and more students into small spaces.  
Our eye is on the 2021 Nevada Legislative Session.  We will get a billion dollars for kids.   
We demand political will to take care of kids.  
Here we come. 
#Fight4Kids #Billion4Kids
#NVed #NVTeach #Nevada #Vegas
The Teacher MotherJonesing,

Angie Sullivan teaches in an underfunded Title 1 school in Las Vegas where many students are impoverished and don’t speak English. She frequently writes blast emails to Nevada legislators and journalists.

Margaret Raymond once joked that Nevada has the worst charter sector in the nation. From Valerie Strauss’s Answer Sheet blog in 2015:

“Be very glad that you have Nevada, so you are not the worst,” charter researcher Margaret “Macke” Raymond said of Ohio. Raymond, from the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, conducts research on charter schools and issued a report late last year that said  Ohio  charter school students learn 36 days less math and 14 days less reading than traditional public school students — conclusions she drew from crunching data obtained from student standardized test scores.

Nevada charter schools continues to be a failed sector, but the money keeps flowing. Even Andre Agassi’s much-celebrated charter school, the Andre Agassi Academy, ended up on the list of the state’s lowest performing schools and was turned over to New York City-based “Democracy Prep.” The Agassi charter had plenty of money but run through multiple principals and staff, and the school was noted for disorder, not for accomplishment.

Angie Sullivan writes:

This is the Nevada Charter Authority. 

Charter Authority folks openly discussing giving money to “priority providers”?

Millions to friends?  Acquaintances? Friends of friends?  
Priority is someone with great “scores”?  And the testing protocol is what exactly?  What is in place to prevent cheating?  
How exactly does one become a priority provider? 
You have to “know someone” and have “scores”? 
Several of the applicants cannot fill out the application completely & on time.  
If they miss deadlines, the rules are bent because they are “special” in some other way?  
There was a discussion with a warning from the attorney to not accept folks and give them millions if they cannot fill out the form.
Seems “priority folks” do not have the ability to follow directions, wait their turn, or behave.   
If you google the “priority person” and they are followed by lawsuits and scandals are they still priority?  
Let me be clear.  
There are NO clean hands in Nevada Charters.  Not a single Nevada charter has three years of academic data by campus.  Not a single charter has clear money trails that can be followed.  The Nevada Tax Payer cannot see what charter campuses are doing.  
Zero academic or financial accountability.   
A referral from anyone running or involved in a current Nevada charter – is a bad referral.  
$350 million plus is actually passed around by a handful of folks – including legislators or former legislators or prospective legislators.  
For-profit Academica must expand to cash in.  Is that body a “priority”?  
How nice of the Charter Authority to record themselves discussing how they will be passing out millions to their friends and bending rules to do it?  
This is disgusting. 

Gary Rubinstein has followed the failure of the “portfolio model” more closely than anyone in the country. He watched the Tennessee “Achievement School District” as its leaders made bold promises,     then departed for lucrative reformy gigs as the ASD collapsed in failure.

In this post, he describes the failure of Nevada’s copycat ASD. ,which was modeled on Tennessee’s ASD, which was modeled on New Orleans’ low-achieving Recovery School District.

He notes that Michigan’s “Education Achievement Authority” failed and was shuttered.

All of which raises the question, why are Corporate Reformers incapable of learning from experience?

The definition of insanity: funding an experimental education program, discovering that it failed, then funding it some more and expecting different results.

Another definition of insanity: funding a voucher program that depresses student achievement, then demanding more voucher funds so more students can fall behind.

Why fund failure?

Despite Poor Academic Results Groups Sue to Grow Private School Voucher Program

A few weeks ago a pro-school privatization organization, Institute for Justice, announced a lawsuit against the State of Nevada over the impact of AB 458 to private school vouchers recipients, scholarship granting organizations and businesses receiving tax incentives.

Though pro-voucher advocates are framing the suit as “saving vouchers,” in reality, the voucher program did not lose funding. The controversy over some students losing their scholarships is actually the result of a single scholarship granting organization interpreting a law passed this legislative session (AB 458) differently than all other scholarship organizations. Certain families who went through this organization for their voucher funds were the only ones whose funds were not renewed, leaving those students in limbo as the law’s purpose is clarified by the State.

To be clear, AB 458 did NOT cancel funding for the voucher program but only ended the requirement that funding for the controversial program grow by 10% each year. Given that growth in public education funding often struggles just  to keep up with inflation (approximately 2%), automatically growing a voucher program with scant accountability and poor results just doesn’t make sense.

Businesses are also suing on the claim that they would not be able to increase their contributions to vouchers because there is no increase in tax incentives. However ,they could choose to continue supporting private school tuition through donations without having to receive any incentive if it’s a cause that they deem so critical.

Ultimately, the courts will decide if the legal argument holds water, but the policy and evidence behind limiting the program’s growth is sound.

Voucher programs don’t work – both in Nevada and nationwide. The latest results from the Nevada Department of Education showed that more voucher recipient scores decreased than increased year-to-year, mirroring similar trends across the nation. For example, Louisiana has seen consistent abysmal results – with voucher recipients performing worse and numerous private schools fraught with poor school ratings, fraud, and cheating scandals.

Lack of accountability in voucher programs has continued to raise red flags. Nevada private schools have no requirement that their teachers be licensed. An analysis by ENN found that of the schools that made the information available, less than 50 percent of teachers were ever credentialed in the state of Nevada, while some schools had no staff with Nevada licenses.

A look at the number of teachers who are licensed at private schools that have Opportunity Scholarship students enrolled. **This chart only includes data from schools who make staff information publicly available. Numbers exclude theology teachers and support staff.**

And the overwhelming lack of accountability – uniform testing, treatment of students with unique needs (private schools are less likely to accept students with an IEP), anti-discrimination, and other issues closely monitored in our public schools – means poor outcomes and underqualified staff may only be the tip of the iceberg.  North Carolina, for example, is grappling with testing issues, discrimination against LGBTQ students, and questionable academic content (with one popular textbook claiming the KKK was fighting to protect morality and slaves were treated well by their slave owners). One can argue that teacher quality, curriculum, or treatment of students is the prerogative of these schools because they are private, but if private schools are now operating using public taxpayer dollars, we must demand more.

Ultimately efforts would be better spent advocating for increased dollars for our public schools to ensure all our students have access to a quality education regardless of religion, sexual preference, gender, race or income.

To learn more about national efforts to fight private school vouchers, check out the new Public Funds Public Schools campaign supported by Education Law Center, Southern Poverty Law Center and the SPLC Action Fund.

About Educate Nevada Now
The Rogers Foundation, a Nevada leader in support of public education, joined with local, state and national partners to launch Educate Nevada Now (ENN) in 2015. The organization is committed to school finance reform and improved educational opportunities and outcomes for all Nevada public school children, especially English language learners, gifted and talented students, students with disabilities or other special needs, and low-income students.

More information about ENN can be found at

The Clark County Education Association (Las Vegas) announced that teachers will strike on September 10 if they can’t reach a settlement with the district before then.