LAS VEGAS (FOX5) — Deans, parents, teachers and staff got heated during a town hall about Clark County education on Wednesday.
Invited concerned members of the community were able to voice their opinions on recent budget cuts directly to the people in charge. Panelists of the town hall included:
- Clark County Superintendent Jesus Jara
- Joyce Woodhouse, Nevada State Senator & Finance Committee Chair
- Mo Denis, Nevada State Senator & Education Committee Chair
- John Vellardita, Clark County Education Association (CCEA) Executive Director
- Alexander Marks, Nevada State Education Association (NSEA) Political Coordinator
- Caryne Shea, HOPE for Nevada Vice President
- Amanda Morgan, Educate Nevada Now Le
"Shame on the trustees for giving him the authorization to move forward with cutting 170 human beings who deliver services to kids and teachers every single day," said Stephan Augspurger, Executive Director of the Clark County Association of School Administrators & Professional-Technical Employees.
"When you talk about the solutions going forward, it’s almost July and school starts in August. The parents need to know," said one parent.
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. Deans could be welcomed back as teachers.
"So to send me back into the classroom, I have no problem with that. I teach teachers how to teach kids," said Cristal Bissau, Dean of Students at Shadow Ridge High School. "What I have a problem with is the fact of the matter of how it was rolled out.”
Superintendent Jara said he regretted the way the news was delivered during the town hall. However Jara stood his ground on his decision to cut deans.
"We have to come back and make a cut of $17-$18 million dollars next year. So when you go back and look where do we cut, and my commitment has always been, you have to cut furthest away from the classroom," said Superintendent Jara.