CCSD infighting possibly weighing on district's reorganization effort

LAS VEGAS - Infighting among Clark County School District Trustees and the superintendent could be affecting plans to reorganize the fifth largest school district in the country, and with more than 320,000 students in the district, there's a lot at stake.

Tensions ran high at CCD's school board meeting Thursday night.  Consultants hired to oversee the restructuring of the school district have had some scathing comments about the situation.

Paul, a consultant, helping with the school district reorganizing effort told 8 News NOW some trustees are playing political games with children's education and future.

However, trustees say they're looking out for what's best for the district, so they're demanding transparency.

All of the drama between the parties is playing out as Assembly Bill 469 heads to the governor's desk.  AB469 will require CCSD to re-organize and give more power at the school level.  It's a big issue they can't seem to agree upon.

A feud between the Clark County School District Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky and Trustee Chris Garvey took center stage at this week's board meeting.

"These employees went through a great deal of turmoil this past week," Skorkowsky said.

Garvey initially proposed discussing terminating certain high-level employee contracts, and many of the people work closely with the superintendent.

"My intent for these were not any kind of threat of terminating people's employment," Garvey said.

But the tension at the board meeting has been ongoing according to Tom Skancke, a consultant helping with the re-organization.

According to Skancke, there isn't a motive behind the latest action by Trustee Garvey.

"The really underlying core was to try and remove the superintendent again," Skancke said. "Primarily because they don't believe that the superintendent should be in compliance with the state law."

Garvey says she just wants transparency.

"So let's be clear on that.  It is not an attack on any individual, and it is definitely not an attack as you presented it," Garvey said.

The agenda item was ultimately pulled, but Garvey says the superintendent should have talked with her directly about the issue relating to certain employees contracts before hand.

"If you were concerned about these individuals and the turmoil that it would do why would you send a memo that said you had no knowledge," Garvey asked?

Garvey was also upset that TSC Squared Group, Skancke's consulting firm, would even comment without discussing the item with her directly.
   
Skancke said he never had the opportunity to discuss it with her.

"This was a backroom deal," Skancke said.  "There was no opportunity to reach out to her. When Chris doesn't get her way, she plays the victim."

As the parties fight more and more, time to get reorganization efforts done on time continues to run out.
  
"They should be focusing on 'how does the school district get 80 percent of the funds into the classroom and 20 percent at the Clark County School District," Skancke said.

State lawmakers are also working on a separate bill that would require school board members to go through training about employee-management relations and contracts.

The bill got passed by the State Assembly, and it's now being looked at in the Nevada State Senate.
  


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