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May 5, 2015

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School Board approves contract for new superintendent

Dwight Jones

Dwight Jones

Sun Coverage

After sharp debate, the Clark County School Board approved an employment agreement for Dwight Jones, who has been offered the job of schools superintendent.

The board Thursday night OK’d the agreement 6-1, with board member Larry Mason dissenting.

Jones, who has said he is eager to begin, would have to formally accept the contract.

The four-year agreement is valued at $350,000 a year, including a $270,000 salary and benefits. The start date, Dec. 1, is tentative, pending negotiation with Superintendent Walt Rulffes, who is retiring.

The agreement was negotiated by trustee attorneys, including Mark Wood, board counsel.

Two weeks ago, the board voted 6-1 to offer the job to Jones, the Colorado commissioner of education.

The sharpest exchange was between Mason, speaking remotely by telephone, and Wood.

Mason, sometimes in a voice edged with sarcasm, asked why Jones would receive $1,000 a day, up to $8,000, before he starts his job and out-of-pocket expenses for visiting Las Vegas.

“Was there a reason for the $1000?” Mason asked.

Wood said the figure seemed fair.

To whom, Mason shot back, and who determines what is fair?

Mason and the board, Wood replied.

Board member Carolyn Edwards said the number was fair because it was a little less than his daily salary in Colorado, which he would no longer be drawing.

In Colorado, Jones makes $224,000 a year. The Denver Post reported that the commission’s board, responding to Clark County’s overtures, was considering offering Jones a 10 percent pay increase.

Teri Janison, the school board president, said she asked the Public Education Foundation to help Jones with relocation expenses.

The foundation, whose chairman is Sig Rogich, a longtime media consultant close to the Republican Party, was willing to organize public donations for any one-time relocation expenses, including temporary housing, she said.

Jones would be required to report any relocation money as a taxable gift.

But Ruben Murillo, leader of the Clark County Education Association, the teachers union, said the arrangement might compromise Jones’ perceived independence.

The board voted 6-1 to approve the arrangement with the Public Education Foundation, with Mason dissenting.

As Colorado education commissioner, Jones works with 178 school districts, educating 830,000 students. He supervises an annual budget of $5 billion, but much of that is controlled and spent locally.

Clark County has about 310,000 students and a budget of $2.2 billion.

Under the approved agreement, Jones also gets a $150,000 life insurance policy, $700 a month for “private vehicle expenses,” including insurance, and $660 a month to defray expenses for being “visible in the schools” and participating in “community affairs.”

He also gets $4,000 a year for local, state and national professional meetings. He will receive $15,000 for moving expenses.

Board member Linda Young was the dissenting vote in offering Jones the job, saying it was not that Jones was unqualified but that the selection process was too speedy.

He was approved two weeks after a months-long, largely secret selection process by an executive recruiter.

Jones and his wife have a 7-year-old son, Landry, who would enroll in a public school. Jones also supports two older children in college.

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  1. Current expenditures was set at $2.56 billion and a total budget of $3.55 billion - less losses in state and local revenue (which are not significant compared to the spending in one year). (Their operating budget excludes some current expenditure items).

    The figures come to about $8,600 per pupil in current expenditures and nearly $12,000 per pupil in total expenditures (which includes capital costs and debt repayment).

  2. More on CCSD spending here:

  3. uddeboda,

    You bring up pay in your country of Sweden.

    Sweden has some of the highest Corporate, Individual, payroll taxes in the world along with one of the highest VAT rates in the world.

    What do they do with all YOUR money?

  4. Hey Pat!
    When discussing per-pupil spending, please refrain from using figures that are not representative of what typically constitutes "per-pupil spending".
    Adding all your other B.S. is meant to do ONE THING ONLY...mislead people.
    For example, Pat, here's another source with another set of facks an figgurs...

    The important part, Pat;

    Now, I know that as a "Professional Spinmeister", you will rebut my link and associated numbers, but what I'm sayin', Pat, is YOU HAVE AN make it APPEAR AS THOUGH Nevadans are being somehow railroaded into paying some exorbitant amount of dough per-pupil, and achieving very little in return.
    As you are aware, Pat, I would dispute both your facts and your reasoning. But then, I'm not a paid shill for a right-wing "think tank". I just want people reading your propaganda to understand that Patrick R. Gibbons is PAID to denigrate ANYTHING PAID FOR with a PUBLIC BUCK.

    Regardless of the dollar amount, Education in Nevada has many issues, as we all realize. But they all can't be discussed in terms of dollars and cents...dollars and SENSE might be a start...

  5. vegasrr says: "The DC School Boss just resigned and she is the right person for our community's schools."

    I am amazed you would say that considering that the DC school district is the ONLY ONE rated LOWER then CCSD. I guess if your plan is to make us dead last then hiring that person would be a great idea.