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´╗┐Martinez departure leaves leadership void

If Superintendent Pedro Martinez remains "removed" from his duties with the Washoe County School District, it will leave a leadership void in the 2015 Legislature.Educational leadership will be doubly important in the next Carson City session, since lawmakers will attempt to modernize Nevada's 47 year old system of distributing state tax dollars to county school districts.Martinez is currently on paid leave after the Washoe County School Board of Trustees tried to terminate his employment, according to Martinez."Going into the next legislative session, if Washoe County does not have a superintendent and he is fired or let go, it is likely we might not have one (when the Legislature starts in February)," Hickey said. "Then we are somewhat voiceless. I don't want to say rudderless. But it could have an impact on the rest of the state."For this new funding formula to work, school districts must buy into a "One Nevada" plan. It will probably have a weighted system where more funding would go to districts with larger populations of English language learners or special needs children."He (Martinez) was the voice to make the point that we are one state and whatever our solutions are, they have to reflect that," Hickey said.Martinez has carried credibility into previous legislative discussions about education funding, since he has been the superintendent in Washoe and the assistant superintendent in Clark County. Those, of course, are the state's two largest school districts.It gives him a unique perspective someone lawmakers will listen to when the Legislature attempts to change Nevada's school funding system."The superintendent carries a lot of weight in the legislative session and Pedro Martinez is one who has been listened to by lawmakers and policy makers and others statewide for years," Hickey said. "So he would be seriously missed."Hickey questioned the timing of the controversial firing of Martinez which was later downgraded to a paid leave of absence by members of the school board. There are two weeks until school begins and about seven months before Puma Basket Winterised Puma Black Gum

the Legislature starts the day after the Super Bowl. But is this the way we want to do it?" Hickey said. "Especially at this moment of Nevada with the challenges we face in education and the progress we have been making in Washoe County."We've see record graduation rates and more kids taking AP (Advanced Placement) courses and all of those things that are Puma Basket White Heart

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import to the public, important to economic development in the state as we try to attract new businesses."Hickey was adamant that lawmakers will push through a new funding formula in 2015: "There is going to be a new formula," he told Mason.Martinez Washoe's first Latino superintendent would have had the institutional knowledge and experience to fight for some of that money earmarked for English language learners' programs."I go to events and I see Latino parents and students looking at him and being extremely proud of who he is and what he has accomplished," Hickey said of Martinez. "If we are talking about role model, boy, is he ever a great one."One of the most colorful bills that will be presented to the Nevada Legislature will be one from Assemblyman David Bobzien, D Reno, which would make Puma Ignite Hi Tech Limitless

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the "Picon Punch" Nevada's official state drink.Twenty eight other states have a state drink. Most of the state drinks are milk, perhaps a show of the strength of the nation's dairy industry.The Picon Punch is a part of Nevada's Basque heritage a culture that includes former Gov. Sen.Bobzien said he submitted the bill draft request after Puma Basket Heart Children's the owners of Reno's famous Basque restaurant "Louis' Basque Corner," asked him about it."This is a constituent's issue," Bobzien said. "I have one of the more prominent Basque restaurants in my district and the owners of 'Louis Basque Corner' are supportive of honoring Nevada Basque heritage with this bill."Yet it's more than just securing Reno's Basque vote, Bobzien said."It is an economic issue," Bobzien said. "It is a tourism issue. Nevada particularly Northern Nevada finally understands that our tourism marketing is dependent of just how unique a product we have to offer. And certainly, our Basque heritage is a big part of that."If the Picon Punch is approved as the state's official drink in the 2015, Nevada would join Alabama as the only state whose official drink is an alcoholic beverage. Conecuh Ridge Whiskey is 'Bama's official drink an acknowledgment of the state's moonshiners' legacy.

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