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August 28, 2015

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Sandoval offers to broker dispute between union and school district over $40 million grant

Brian Sandoval

Brian Sandoval

Gov. Brian Sandoval said he was “deeply disappointed” that Clark County teachers union had blocked the school district’s application for a $40 million federal grant and offered to personally meet with the union and school district officials to get them together before a new Nov. 2 deadline for the application.

Sandoval, in a statement today, said the money could be used to hire additional teachers and provide support for “at-risk” students, particularly for English language learners.

“I am deeply disappointed the leadership of the Clark County Education Association decided to block the Clark County School District’s application for $40 million in federal funds through the Race to the Top grant,” he said.

In a letter to the district, the Clark County Education Association complained district officials failed to work collaboratively with the union to develop the application.

"Teachers and students need the resourcing opportunities that (the grant) holds," said John Vellardita, executive director of the union. "However, because the district has not engaged in any genuine attempts at collaboration, we will all miss an opportunity to improve teachers and learning in Clark County."

The school district disputed that assertion, saying it had reached out to the union at least seven times between July and October.

Sandoval has mostly stayed away from local school district disputes with their bargaining units. Both Washoe County and Clark County school districts were embroiled in impasses resolved by an outside arbitrator, but Sandoval has been circumspect about getting involved.

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