LAS VEGAS - Parents and teachers came to Las Vegas City Hall to hear Clark County School District's plans for student futures.
Clark County School District Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara held the second of five scheduled Community Meetings to share his goals for the next five years.
Jara touched on the district's current state and five different strategies. The strategies referred to a better funding plan, student safety, and higher graduation standards.
"If all the adults are aligned and working in the same direction," Dr. Jara said. "Our children will be able to succeed."
According to Jara, The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance stated 17 percent view K-12 education in Clark County as "extremely bad," while 35 percent see it as "poor." He added that 20 percent of CCSD students do not feel safe at school, while more than 20 percent are reported chronically absent.
"How do people survive this school district?" CCSD teacher Dolly Rowan asked. "How do our students survive when we don't have the funds?"
Jara also addressed a serious hiring shortage, with the district currently holding 300 open support professional positions in "hard to fill" areas. He stated there are also more than 400 open teaching positions throughout CCSD.
"It's not about passing blame," Dr. Jara said. "It's about identifying what are we going to do?"
The district's current funding model, which he says hasn't been updated since 1967, as Clark County "per pupil funding" sits at the lowest in the country and a point of emphasis from Jara.
"Every day you are thinking and hoping that they are going to go learn," CCSD Parent Brenda Karcz said. "And not have to worry about being threatened and being bullied."
Parents and teachers 8 News NOW spoke with said it all comes down to smaller class sizes and personalized attention, so families can feel safe sending their children to school.
"We need interventions, we need support," Rowan added. "Our kids with behavior issues, what are we doing to help them besides kicking them out?"
This, as educators continue to mold the minds of the next generation.
"Every kid wants to be successful," Rowan said. "Every kid. If we provide them the support, the opportunity, they are going to be okay."
Jara's future meetings are scheduled as follows:
Jan. 12: 9 a.m. – Virtual session with rural communities, Facebook Live on CCSD’s Facebook page
Jan. 14: 6 – 7:30 p.m. – Henderson Convention Center, 200 S. Water St., Henderson
Jan. 17: 6 – 7:30 p.m. – North Las Vegas City Hall, 2250 N. Las Vegas Blvd., North Las Vegas
Here's a look at CCSD's approved, 2019 funding plan.
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