LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Exactly 170 dean positions in Southern Nevada middle and high schools are being cut before the 2019-2020 calendar year, the district's superintendent announced Monday.
CCSD's Dr. Jesus Jara appeared in video on Monday to thank legislators in Carson City for working to expand the school district's budget, as opposed to trying the same budget each year and "expecting a different outcome."
He said multiple measures passed to ensure teachers get raises for the upcoming school year, but that the measures created a deficit of $33 million.
To fund the raises, $166 million was needed, and two measures in the Nevada Legislature allowed $49 million and $90 million, respectively.
To make up for that, the district is eliminating 170 dean positions in Clark County middle and high schools, Jara said. He said he hopes the district can work to "reposition" those impacted.
“Dean positions at all middle and high schools will be eliminated indefinitely,” Jara said in the video. “It is our hope that we will be able to retail the outstanding members of our family be repositioning them back into the classroom. Though any cuts means a loss for our schools, placing them back into teaching positions is the only silver lining to this incredible loss.”
FOX5 spoke to a couple of deans on the phone. Both said they just moved into these jobs this year. They laid out a few of their key roles at the schools.
A top priority for deans is school safety. They also supervise dozens of teachers and staff. And at the high school level, deans oversee athletic events and other after school activities.
So now many are wondering who will all of this fall on next year.
“To be honest with you, the dean cut was a surprise,” Sierra Vista High School principal John Anzalone said.
“My two deans are extremely upset, my teachers are panicking,” Anzalone said. He said he knew that cuts were coming, but he didn’t expect this.
“This is one is a tough blow because obviously school safety has to be number one, and the dean’s number one job is school safety,” he said.
On top of managing teachers and staff, deans also handle violence and disciplinary issues with students.
“My worry is that kids who need extra help are going to fall through the cracks,” parent Rebecca Garcia said.
Garcia was an outspoken supporter of better teacher pay and smaller class sizes. But she didn’t want to see those come at this price.
“We’re taking from one area to cover another,” she said. “It’s robbing Peter to pay Paul yet again because there’s not enough funding.”
In the meantime, Anzalone said he is focused on finding another solution.
“I’m also in a little bit of a panic because I want to make sure my teachers and students are safe next year,” he said. “I’m hoping between now and August, a miracle happens.”
CCSD added it will work to reassign deans within the district. But a couple of deans told FOX5 they know if they stay, they’ll have to take a pay cut. So they are already looking at jobs outside the school district.
This news comes as Arbor View High School was just promised an additional dean.
Back in March, the school announced its Cultural Turnaround Process to address several racist social media posts, targeting black students. Hundreds of parents attended a town hall and demanded change.
As part of CCSD’s 90-day plan, the additional dean would have managed cultural issues and complaints on campus.
Keenan Korth, spokesman for the Clark County Education Association, released this statement as a response:
We just received this announcement and are reviewing the budget cuts Superintendent Jara has proposed to ensure there are no cuts to the classroom. Our position has remained the same: there can be no cuts to the classroom. Once we have completed our review we will be issuing a statement.
Check back for more.