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April 23, 2014

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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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  1. Isn't there a trusted public official who has not promised to bust the teachers union able to step up and genuinely mediate this dispute? Sandoval takes his advice from Michelle Rhee who when not responsible for test score scandals and using duct tape as a discipline tool takes corporate money to privatize public schools. As a parent in CCSD I wish a true neutral respected party would come forward to mediate this dispute. This entire situation more parents should be paying attention to because next legislature they are going to try to pass parent trigger legislation which will destroy our neighborhood schools. I don't like that 51% of know nothing parents who are not involved with the school can vote to switch my neighborhood school which affects my property values into a charter school. Then all the kids in the district can apply to go the school around the corner from my house and my kids can get in a lottery. Instead of kids walking to school we have crazed rushed cell phone talking maniacs driving their kids to and from the school while your kids get bussed to another school!!! It's a deal that gets crappier the more I learn about it.

  2. This entire CCSD/Sandoval situation, along with the media reporting surrounding it, stinks of political gamesmanship.
    CCSD which has been caught lying to the union, caught lying to the school board and been caught lying to community members, is supposedly the truthful party?
    Then when the evil union (dripping with sarcasm) doesn't negotiate (because CCSD refuses to even come to the table) the always "optimistic" gov. Sandoval offers to mediate a deal?

    Sandoval only does what he's told to do by political advisors ($$$ bundling lobbyist) and only when they threaten to pull financial support for his next big political office jump.

    The question that needs to be answered is: Which political advisor is threatening to pull $$$ and why?
    It could very well be Michelle Rhee and the millions in donations from Teach For America or it could be James W. Guthrie and the hundreds of millions from privatized online schools (*he owns stock in one of the largest ones & was recently appointed "Superintendent of Public Instruction" with an almost complete lack of qualifying experience).

    [Yep, Amber Lyon was right. Investigative journalism is dead.)