No One Asked Me But… (December 29, 2021) – The Progress – mvprogress

Posted: December 29, 2021 at 10:24 am


No one asked me but I am starting my 15th year of writing a column for the Progress. This may say more about the patience of the editor than the quality of my writing.

At the start of each year I like to remind my readers this is not a news column, it is an opinion column, and that is why it appears on the Op Ed page of the paper.

While I try to be factual, I dont pretend to be unbiased in my opinions and so with that stipulation, I will begin my new year of writing.

No one asked me but For the following reasons I believe it is imperative that the Nevada State Department of Education place the Clark County School District into receivership and establish an Oversight Committee to run the District bringing it into compliance with all Nevada Revised Statutes. The CCSD past failures to resolve the poor standing of education in the State of Nevada has made it necessary to act to reform the District.

In the last month I have watched a CCSD Board meeting where the Superintendent, Chief Financial Officer and another Central Office Employee, as well as the Board President openly admitted that a proposal the Superintendent was asking the Board to approve was in direct violation of the Nevada Revised Statues dealing with the financial structure of the Clark County School District. The President of the Board called for a motion to approve the illegal action and it was passed on a 6-1 vote.

Later in the month I watched a Nevada State Board of Education subcommittee meeting where the Chief Financial Officer and the same central office employee stated that District would not comply with this financial provision of the NRS. They also admitted that they were out of compliance as to the placement of surplus teachers. They stated to comply with the law would put them in violation of the contract agreement with the teachers association. One must wonder when association agreements supersede the law?

They further stated that they could see no way the District could comply with the requirements of NRS 388G.

During this report the CFO indicated that the reorganization reforms had detrimental effects on the District. One, it took the focus from educating children to reforming the Districts mode of delivery.

Apparently, the District cannot chew gum and walk at the same time. Two, the reorganization did not bring about the desired improvement in the educational growth of the students of Clark County.

While I agree that the District has focused its time on the reform it was NOT to implement it. For over the five years the law has been in effect, they have been busy fighting the reorganization with every means at their disposal, even to the point of out and out violation of the law. While the report presented to the sub-committee of the Nevada State Department of Education said the reorganization has been a failure, I would contend we dont know since it has never been implemented by the District.

The Board of Trustees is responsible for all operations, finances, and services, and, therefore, must accept the responsibility for the malfunction within the District over the past years that have led to the abysmal national ranking of the educational results in CCSD. This open hostility to reform expressed by members of the CCSD Board of Trustees will make it impossible to carry out any meaningful reform without careful monitoring by the Nevada State Department of Education. The past record of the CCSD Board of ignoring, when they found it advantageous to do so, various Nevada Revised Statues would indicate a need to insure the reorganizations laws are carried out in a proper manner.

By voting, under the direction of the on-again-off-again Superintendent, to violate NRS 388G. 660.1(b) (2) requiring 85% of unrestricted moneys be placed in the local school budgets to be controlled by the individual schools the CCSD Board of Trustees has taken a stand against the reform efforts of the legislature; therefore, the Board of Trustees cannot be trusted to carry out any reforms required by the Legislature. The Board of Trustees has demonstrated a lack of understanding as to what is required of the District under the reorganization plan as codified in the Nevada Revised Statues.

For the reasons stated above, it would be irresponsible for the State Department of Education to leave the present CCSD Board of Trustees in charge of the District without an oversight agency. I believe an independent oversight board should be instituted.

I would suggest the following for this oversight board. Two members appointed by the Mayor of Las Vegas, two members appointed by the Mayor of Henderson, two members appointed by the Mayor of North Las Vegas, one member appointed by the Mayor of the City of Mesquite, one member appointed by the Mayor of Boulder City, one member appointed by the Clark County Board of Commissioners to represent all of the unincorporated areas of Clark County, and one member appointed by the Governor to serve as the chairman of the committee who would vote only to break a tie vote among the committee members.

This Oversight Committee would be responsible for the expenditure of all the funds available to CCSD. This Committee would determine which of those funds are restricted and which are unrestricted. This committee would determine the various weighted Student Funding Formulas and their implementation in accordance with the requirements of NRS 388G. 500-810.

The Oversight Committee would review all CCSD Board of Trustees present policies and regulations amending each to conform to the stipulations of the Reorganization Plan ensuring the CCSD Boards compliance with any and all laws of the State of Nevada.

This committee would either approve the continued employment of the present Superintendent or would replace him with a Superintendent who will join them in bringing the District into compliance with the laws of Nevada.

The Nevada State Board of Education Oversight Committee should continue to function until it is determined by the Governor, the State Board of Education, and the Oversight Committee that an elected CCSD Board of Trustees is capable of managing the District as stipulated by Nevada Revised Statue.

When the elected board is re-established, it should be a nine-member board with representation that corresponds to the makeup of the oversight committee boundaries.

Thought of the weekThey say that breaking up is hard to do. Now I know, I know that its true Neil Sedaka


No One Asked Me But... (December 29, 2021) - The Progress - mvprogress

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