District leader hopefuls tout skills at education forum

LAS VEGAS - Certain candidates seeking office in the Las Vegas valley have a say in the decisions that will shape the future of the Clark County School District.

With more than $400 million in spending at stake, now is the time to learn about the candidates seeking office.  At an education forum Wednesday night, six candidates running for a number of positions with state education boards faced off with concerned citizens at the Centennial Hills Library. 

Politics NOW Anchor Steve Sebelius moderated the event.  During the forum, candidates shared their thoughts on a number of pressing issues, and there wasn't a topic off limit.

"How are they going to improve when money -- piles of money -- floods of money,  come into the school district for decades and their performance only gets worse," said Ed Uehling, a concerned citizen.

Uehling was one of the dozens of people who attended the education forum.  One of the biggest hot-button issues is the ongoing teacher shortage.

"It is a national issue everybody is fighting for the same small pool of teachers," said Tim Hughes, Board of Education candidate.

When it comes to the challenges of recruiting and retaining qualified educators, some people believe it's all in the message.  They say a change in the message could make all of the difference.

"When you talk to individual teachers in their classrooms, they're doing amazing things, and they really enjoy their job.  We need to start selling that again," said Chris Garvey, CCSD Board of Trustee Candidate.

Most of the candidates at the forum also agreed that the struggling schools in the district needed more attention if they were going to see a turnaround.

"That's where the failure of the system is in the poor schools," said Mark Newburn, Board of Education candidate.  "The "1 star" title schools, that's where you can really move the needle."


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