Pushed to push education policies, can Lombardo follow Youngkin’s path? – The Nevada Independent

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo amplifies his gubernatorial campaign messages on education, drawing on Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s playbook in his bid to become ‘the governor of education’ “.

At a campaign event last week alongside Youngkin, Lombardo spoke about making education a priority, highlighting his recently released education plan and linking Nevada’s education success to economic diversification and to public safety.

“It’s very simple, isn’t it?” You make it a priority,” Lombardo told the crowd of more than 200 people at the Liberty Baptist Church in Las Vegas. “Whatever you make a priority, you can fix it. It’s crisis management. Make it a priority, find ways to fix it, and then evaluate it.

He also pointed to the low rankings of Nevada’s education system, citing a review that placed the state 50th out of 51 for education in a ranking that included all states and Washington DC.

“We haven’t made it a priority in our state, and now we’re starting to feel the pain,” he said.

In a closely watched gubernatorial run last year, Youngkin focused heavily on education, addressing parents’ frustrations over school closures prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic and harshly criticizing related changes. to race in the school curriculum. He returned Virginia red, just a year after President Joe Biden beat former President Donald Trump by more than 10 points in the state.

Youngkin also pointed to the similarities between Nevada and Virginia under Democratic leadership during the pandemic. He pointed to lockdowns, business closures, schooling conducted on screens, repeating a question after each point: “Does this sound familiar, Nevada? »

For much of the off-year cycle, Youngkin has stood roughly equal to or slightly behind his Democratic opponent in the polls. But just as Youngkin won over an electorate that had slanted blue in recent cycles — last year he became the first Republican to win a statewide election in Virginia since 2009 — Lombardo has also addressed its message to a wider audience.

“He has the title of Governor of Education,” Lombardo said of Youngkin. “But I’ll take it away from him.”

Although the national political climate and sky-high inflation rates have propelled the economy to the forefront of voters’ minds this year, education remains a top concern in Nevada. Fourteen percent of Nevada voters identified education as their top issue, just behind the economy at 44 percent, in a July poll by The Nevada Independent and OH Predictive Insights.

At a second event with Youngkin in Reno, Lombardo told reporters he would fight a national abortion ban if Congress were to pass one, the Associated press reported, despite his previous promise to be a “pro-life governor”. His comment came after Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) proposed a near-total ban on abortion after 15 weeks, which, if passed, would replace Nevada laws protecting abortion access until at 24 weeks. Lombardo has previously expressed support for a notional ballot initiative proposing a 13-week abortion ban with exceptions for physical health, rape and incest.

Lombardo defended his choice of venue during the morning event at Liberty Baptist Church, whose founder has harshly denounced homosexuality, calling church leaders his friends. He also pointed to a proclamation from Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak celebrating the church’s 2019 anniversary.

Still, Lombardo focused primarily on education last week, including expanding on some of the ideas included in his education priority list released earlier this month.

He floated the idea of ​​dismantling the Clark County School District, the fifth-largest in the nation by enrollment. While he did not commit to supporting a district breakup, he called for a “comprehensive effort” to assess such an effort and “determine whether the competition is better than all this hierarchy…in this way, we we always did.”

Lombardo also wants to change the mindset of “attendance versus performance” in schools, challenging giving grades to students just for showing up, and specifically highlighting his support for the Read by Grade 3 program. of the state, which he says was “scuttled” by Sisolak.

Although the curriculum and funding for early literacy interventions remain in place, a bill approved by Sisolak in 2019 removed the requirement to retain students if they failed to read at the grade level in third grade.

Like Youngkin’s rally against race-based education in schools, Lombardo’s plan for education also calls for the banning of the “social reform agenda.” Although Lombardo’s campaign initially did not identify specific examples of such a curriculum currently being taught in Nevada schools, it later provided The Nevada Independent with reported examples of sexually explicit material discovered in Clark County schools.

His campaign also highlighted “equity and diversity resources” for teachers in the Washoe County School District that “promote specific political and ideological agendas,” including “teaching tolerance” resources. available through Learning for Justice, which seeks to be “a catalyst for racial justice in the South and beyond.

Editor’s Note: A version of this story appears in Indy 2022, The Nevada Independent’s newsletter dedicated to comprehensive coverage of the 2022 election. Sign up to receive the newsletter here.

Comments are closed.