Superintendent Takes Over in Time of Crisis

LAS VEGAS -- New Clark County School Superintendent Dwight Jones has a list of goals for the district. But Jones takes over at a time when the district is facing $250 million in budget cuts and up to 1,500 layoffs.

The superintendent was in Carson City on Monday, in the audience watching Governor Brian Sandoval deliver his first State of the State Address. In his speech, Sandoval called Jones a leader in the state. But he is leading CCSD in tough times.

"Can the school district potentially really be put in a crisis mode? I think if the cuts stay as they are being proposed, it will decimate the school district," he said.

Those cuts, proposed by Sandoval, were revealed at Monday's address.

Jones says he agrees with the plan Sandoval is outlining around reforming education, but at the same time, under Sandoval's plan Jones could see up to $250 million vanish from CCSD's budget and funding for each student would be slashed by $270.

"I think it's going to be really difficult for us to get the kind of results I think the parents and the community wants with the amount of sacrifice. We have to still make a sacrifice, but I'm hoping some of those numbers will change throughout the legislative session," said Jones.

While the budget battle goes on, Jones says he strives to raise CCSD's graduation rate, narrow the socio-economic achievement gap and improve literacy skills.

"I, myself, will have a young person in the school district," he said. "We're going to do everything in our power to make sure that my child can read well, write well, and do math well."

The legislative session begins February 7. A final budget is expected to be approved by June.


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