LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The Clark County Education Association this weekend voted to authorize a strike for the next school year, pending the outcome of the 2019 Legislative session.
In a release sent May 12, CCEA said the strike would be during the 2019-2020 school year "if the Clark County School District carries out threats of budget cuts due to lack of funding from the State during the current Legislative Session."
More than 5,000 teachers participated and voted 78 percent for the strike.
CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara issued the following statement on the vote to authorize the strike next school year:
According to a CCSD fact sheet from the 2017 school year, the district employed 41,823 people, including 18,656 licensed personnel and 5,136 substitute teachers.
We are hopeful that the Governor and Democrats and Republicans will work to ensure our students and educators receive the adequate funding we need in our schools now. Educators are at the tipping point and will not start another school year with larger class sizes, fewer resources, and another salary freeze. If funds reach our schools and educators, there will be no strike. If not, then we will be forced to strike until those funds are secured. - Vikki Courtney, President of CCEA
“The [legislative] session doesn’t end until June 3,” Courtney said. “We’re hoping the legislators do what they’re supposed to do and if they don’t and there’s no funding we want to know what our next step will be.”
Members will vote on a possible strike via online portal. A CCEA spokesperson said members can cast their vote through Saturday.
The vote comes one week after more than a thousand educators and union members rallied in front of the federal court house downtown. The group called on lawmakers to better fund Nevada schools.
“There’s a shortage of colleagues and not enough resources,” Courtney said. “We want to make sure we have those plans in place if we need it.”
Courtney said the Clark County School District needs an extra $120 million per year to fully fund its classrooms and give teachers the 3% raise promised by Governor Sisolak.
The governor’s office did not respond to a request for comment Monday.
Administrators with the school district have already said they will likely make budget cuts.
It is illegal for teachers to strike in Nevada, but according to a survey from the union, educators are willing to take the risk.
Of the 5,000 educators who responded, both union and non-union, 94 percent said they are willing to walk out of the classroom if schools are not properly funded.
If members strike, the school district could take the situation to court and the union could face hefty fines.