Lawmakers greenlight oversight methods for principals, SOT members to hold CCSD accountable in distributing power

Lawmakers unanimously passed a law Tuesday that gives principals and school organizational teams new methods for ensuring power and control over their own schoo
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 11:11 PM PDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Lawmakers unanimously passed a law Tuesday that gives principals and school organizational teams new methods for ensuring power and control over their own school sites.

It is a topic came up frequently during the issues with air conditioning that many CCSD schools dealt with earlier this school year. You might remember FOX5′s report last month, when a recently-retired principal in Moapa Valley claimed that as a principal, he had little-to-no control over fixing utility issues such as air conditioning, landscaping or even parking lot lights. These are powers that principals were promised under Nevada Revised Statute 388G.580.

Roughly five years ago, in response to concerns that CCSD is too big, Nevada passed a law called the Reorganization Law (NRS 388G.580), which pledged to give more control to individual schools rather than the central office.

“It’s making sure that the principals within the system have enough autonomy to be able to support their students,” said Jhone Ebert, Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction. “One of the things that was actually talked about was being able to provide them additional support which comes with the compliance monitor.

After the passing vote at Tuesday’s meeting, Ebert is now authorized to:

  • issue a notice of noncompliance to CCSD leaders,
  • request a plan of corrective action from them, and most notably,
  • appoint a compliance monitor to oversee the reorganization of CCSD with whom she can order a hearing to require CCSD leaders to explain their noncompliance.

“For 180 days, they have access to all the different meetings that central administration has access to,” said Kenneth Paul, recently-retired principal of Mack Lyon Middle School in Overton.

The option of a compliance monitor is designed to support principals: “to give principals the accountability and also the autonomy to be able to do what’s best for the community,” described Ed Gonzalez, who sits on the School Organizational Team (SOT) for Hickey Elementary.

The regulations aim to give local stakeholders the site-specific power they were promised when Nevada’s reorganization law passed five years ago. This law was passed as a workaround amid calls for breaking up the district.

“What it is, is it’s making sure we’re keeping dollars that are meant for those schools-- into those schools,” said Gonzalez.

Currently, a course of action is laid out for if or when a SOT team member is retaliated against. Now, a new course of action is laid out to also help them resolve disputes regarding the compliance of this law.

“It’s empowering schools and principals,” said Gonzalez.

At the principal or SOT team’s discretion, by law, they are given the powers to customize their budget expenditures based on the school’s specific needs.

“Maybe if I rejigger my budget a little bit, I have the ability to squeeze out another teacher position, and lower class sizes,” said Gonzalez.

Legislators voted in unison to support the added oversight. Ebert previously told FOX5 that she did expect these regulations to pass.