LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – New funding recently approved will help underserved schools across Nevada.
It’s a big investment in Nevada education. About $100 million will go toward public charter schools, about $80 million will come from the Equitable Facilities Fund, $15 million from the state infrastructure bank, and $5 million in donations.
Charter schools offer a different approach when it comes to public education.
For Ignacio Prado, that means creating a brighter future for students at Futuro Academy in the East side valley.
“Trying to do mission-driven work in the intercity of Las Vegas, our facilities a lot of the time is an existing facility that needs to be retrofitted in a high-density area where the land is valuable and instruction is going to come at a really high cost,” Prado explained.
Currently, Prado is renting the building and is looking to own a space by 2024.
He hopes to create a bigger facility for the 450 students.
“Now is what we’re calling a diligence period right,” Prado said. “We’re putting together financial statements and beginning to talk to people who are brokers.”
While charter schools receive public funding per student, they must spend a significant amount of those limited per-pupil dollars on their school which can create some obstacles when it comes to quality and operations.
“Every charter school I know has a waitlist and I think more parents would sign up if there were more schools to sign up at,” Prado added.
Shambrion Treadwell is hoping to bridge that gap by opening up a new school in the north part of town called Do and Be Arts Academy of Excellence.
“I am the start of this school in order to open with bare-bones minimum funding, I would need 280 students to satisfy that number,” Treadwell said.
Treadwell said she is looking to make a creative outlet for not just students but the whole North Las Vegas community.
“North Las Vegas currently doesn’t have a visual and performance arts center that people can go to like the Smith Center,” Treadwell said.
Treadwell added that the arts were her avenue to learning and her school connected her with the arts program to learn more, it’s her way of giving back.
“We live in the number one entertainment capital of the world, why not prepare our students in kindergarten and eighth grade for those jobs on the Strip? Cirque de Soleil is recruiting people from other countries, so why not give our students those same skills? We’re also going to bring in some unusual arts that students will have to pay a little bit more to get,” Treadwell added. “We want to bring in acrobatics, Tai Chi, we want to expose them to all different types so they can bring what connects to them. “
However, there are a lot more resources needed, which takes more time and help.
“If I don’t have the quality of funding, quality of needs which black and brown students don’t often have quality which is why we stress about grants and the teachers that serve them don’t have the quality resources around them how can we do something transformational, what am I doing really different from the district?” Treadwell added.
Interested charter schools can now apply for funding.