Town hall discusses CCSD reorganization plan

By Nia Wong | nwong@lasvegasnow.com, Chris Benka

Published 07/28 2016 10:56PM

Updated 07/28 2016 10:56PM

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Plans to reorganize the Clark County School District were unveiled by the advisory committee Thursday night. The first of eight scheduled town hall meetings took place at the Henderson Convention Center.

A new plan to reorganize the Clark County School District would put accountability and involvement at the forefront, according to the nine-member legislative advisory committee.

The state hired Michael Strembitsky as a consultant to draft this proposal, which would give more power to the local level.

"Schools make the district, not the district makes the schools, and it's such an important concept,” he said Thursday night.

Each school would be led by a principal and an organizational team made up of teachers, staff and parents. This group would be in charge of hiring, services and budgeting.

"What will happen, for the first time, is that the money will follow the child,” said State Sen. Michael Roberson (Clark-R).

The committee admitted they still don't know how much money they will need to transition into this plan, leaving some unsure whether to support it.

“We've been told, as teachers, we don't have enough money in the district, and this plan seems like it would cost a lot," CCSD teacher Laura Bell said.

Some expressed concerned this plan does not do enough to address diversity, English Second Language (ESL) students and support staff.

Commentary became heated when Roberson called substitute teachers "glorified babysitters" and alleged the Clark County School Board is at fault for the district’s failures.

"His comments are unfounded. He's got sour grapes. He is power playing,” Trustee Deanna Wright said.

She says she is not opposed to the plan, but says the advisory committee did not invite the board to participate. She says the state is at fault for lagging on educational funding for the last 25 years.

“We want it to be about student achievement. We don't want it to be about politics. We don't want it to be about who's going to win the next election,” she said.

These town meetings will run through August 10th. The committee members say they want as much public input as they can get. They are waiting to finish all the town hall meetings before they finalize a plan, which should take place around August 15th.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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