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August 1, 2015

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Sandoval breaks logjam between CCSD, teachers on $40 million grant application

Brian Sandoval

Brian Sandoval

The Clark County School District’s efforts to compete for $40 million in federal Race to the Top funds won’t be derailed by its teachers union, after all.

Gov. Brian Sandoval announced this morning that the district’s grant application would move forward with the support of the Clark County Education Association.

“I was informed this morning that the Clark County School District and the Clark County Education Association have signed the Race to the Top letter,” Sandoval said in a news release issued by his office. “I am pleased that by working together, leaders of education in Clark County were able to agree to get this done for our children. I look forward to continuing to work with all parties to improve education in our state.”

The federal grant requires — among other conditions — that school districts receive support from the local teachers union. Applications may still be submitted without a union signature, but their chances of winning grant money is hurt.

In a letter last week, the Clark County Education Association, which is embroiled in a contract dispute with the district, informed Deputy Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky that the union would not be signing off on the grant application.

However, Sandoval this week inserted himself into the fray, coming to Las Vegas on Thursday to urge the two sides to resolve their differences so that the district could meet a Friday deadline to apply for the grant.

“The District is pleased that this issue has been resolved and that we were able to move forward today with our application for the Race to the Top grant,” Clark County School District Superintendent Dwight Jones said, according to Sandoval’s office. “If awarded to the Clark County School District, this grant will provide individualized instruction that will drastically improve the educational experience for our students. The District welcomed suggestions from the Clark County Education Association regarding the application and remains committed to competing for these much-needed funds to help increase achievement for our children. Thank you to Governor Sandoval for brokering this agreement.””

Said Ruben Murillo, the teachers union president, “CCEA is pleased to join Governor Sandoval and the school district in the application for the Race to the Top funds. Teachers look forward to a successful partnership in ensuring our students’ needs are met.”

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