LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Following the elimination of 170 dean positions in the Clark County School District Monday, teachers unions and former deans have come forward to voice their concerns about the sudden job cuts and the manner in which the news was delivered to staff.
Superintendent Jesus Jara stunned CCSD administrators June 10 with a 16-minute video statement announcing the workforce reduction of all dean positions within the school district.
"Due to the inability to achieve a fully-funded operational budget for the next two years academic years, the most difficult decisions had to be made in this past week," Jara said. "Dean positions at all middle and high schools will be eliminated indefinitely."
Why? According to Jara, due to the $33 million deficit, CCSD cannot afford to support this staffing given the new funding formula and educator demands.
Outside of CCSD police and security, school deans serve as the first line of defense on campuses against problematic behavior and disruptions.
"We deal with a lot of discipline," one dean told FOX5 Thursday, on the condition of anonymity. "We're making sure that kids are not being bullied. We're trying to make sure the school is as safe as possible."
With the elimination of these positions, disciplinary action will be transferred to upper management, i.e. assistant principals and principals. But that's not all they're responsible for:
Other duties include:
- teacher supervision
- bullying reports & student discipline
- SAFEVOICE management & response
- sports programming
- school transportation
- event & support supervision
- off-campus issues
Jara has said the cuts will put educators back in the classroom, but many deans remain in limbo when in comes to their future in Las Vegas.
"We still don't know our salary," a second dean told FOX5 Thursday. "No one has told us, so I can only guess what I'm going to make come August and after."
The deans discussed their role in fostering solid communication with young minds.
"We're working to build positive relationships with students," one dean said. "I've been a dean for several years and yes, it's very stressful and time consuming ... and you know you've made an impact on someone's life."
In Jara's video address, he said his main goal was to meet the needs of teachers, including: smaller class sizes, improved instructional materials, increased job training and opportunities for benefit and salary growth.
But some say the cuts are causing nothing but harm.
"He used the term in his video 'We're a family,' -- we're not a family when you treat people that way. That's not the way you treat family members," Clark County Association of School Administrators and Professional Tech-Employees Executive Director Stephen Augspurger said.
Augspurger called Jara's decision "life-changing."
On Wednesday, CCSD union officials unanimously passed a vote of no-confidence in Jara. At Green Valley High School, 72 middle and high school staffers cast their votes and expressed their distaste for the situation.
Additional education funding was secured at the end of the 80th Legislative Session, but Clark County still required more money to close the deficit gap.
A MESSAGE FOR JARA
"I wish he would understand we don't do it for the pay," one secondary dean said. "As soon as I found out that deans were eliminated, my first thought was 'What are my kids going to do?' Not my biological kids -- but the kids that I've built relationships with that I consider mine."