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Vegas march assails 'death' of education

March 7, 2011 at 1:57 PM

LAS VEGAS, March 7 (UPI) -- The Las Vegas Strip was the scene of a mock funeral as students protested cuts they said would kill education in Nevada.

Sunday's rally began with a "eulogy," and one of the 500 demonstrators carried a tombstone-shaped poster reading "R.I.P. access to education," the Las Vegas Sun reported.

New Gov. Brian Sandoval is proposing to reduce the state's average per-student funding from $5,192 this fiscal year to $4,918 in each of the next two. The Nevada System of Higher Education says it faces a $163 million cut from its current budget that would require a 73 percent tuition hike to make it up.

"We cannot even compete in our own country," said Colin Seale, a teacher and University of Nevada at Las Vegas law student. "And they want to make cuts to that? I'm happy when I get a kid that's at grade level."

Laurie Lytel, a visiting professor at UNLV's School of Social Work, said it hurts to tell students she doesn't know whether the program will still exist if the cuts pass the Legislature.

Some drivers honked their support as the march proceeded for more than a mile from near the Bellagio's fountains to the Palms.

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