Las Vegas Sun

September 19, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Give the School District the ax

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Dwight Jones’ resignation shows once again that the Clark County School District is unmanageable and has outlived its usefulness.

It was formed in 1956 by combining 14 existing school districts in Clark County. This made sense when Clark County had a population of less than 100,000 but makes no sense today.

The CCSD is like an old dinosaur whose time has passed. It needs to be replaced with smaller, more efficient school districts with their own means of funding local education.

The citizens of Summerlin, Green Valley, Henderson and other areas of Clark County should have control of the schools in their communities. If they wish to pay higher taxes to improve their schools, that should be their right.

Those extra tax dollars should be used only for their schools and not for schools in Elko, Carson City or anywhere else in Nevada. This is the way most states organize public education.

Nevada’s system does not work and must be changed now.

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  1. Letter writer makes an excellent point. Certainly, now is the time to reconsider the existing structure and size of the Clark County School District with the intent to divide into two or even more districts. Education reforms and school management are easier and quicker to put into place with smaller school districts, teachers, administrators and students. Divide and conquer.

    Carmine D

  2. Breaking up the Clark County School District is an idea worth studying. It should answer the question of whether this county and the State of Nevada really have the capabilities to operate the fifth largest school district in the country.

    One obvious pro to the breakup could be more accurately measuring the accoutability for results. Some cons might include uneven funding across the county due to variation in property tax funding as well as possible higher costs for duplicate administrations.

  3. Clark County School District would NOT have to RE-invent the wheel, as far as breaking up the district into smaller community school districts. They could look at large school districts, as Riverside County Office of Education, who oversees the many school districts within Riverside County, California.

    The community based school districts serve their areas in more defined ways, and actually has the automany to make faster needed changes, and be more inclusive highlighting their neighborhood community's efforts in education. Parent involvement is much greater, for example. People shop real estate having a better sense of the strength of that community.

    It is time to consider community school districts, and simply using the CCSD Performance Zones overlay to guide district lines is one easy way to divide the district pie. Citizens will have a much better say in what is going on in their district, for example. There will be MORE community input and control. Currently, there are more than enough administrators, so staffing with administration will be an easy do, and actually provide more jobs! School funding will go where the locals want it to go---public empowerment.

    The only reason why breaking up the massive CCSD into smaller, community based district wouldn't happen, would be due to the phenomenal apathy that is in the air here in Las Vegas. People are lazy, will say but not do, and many are either ignorant, or in the shadows. They want "somebody else to do it." Prove me wrong somebody, please.

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  4. Yet another diversion from the ills of the District. The writer himself points out that Summerlin, Green Valley, etc. will go their own way. The central and eastside [NLV and county] would end up with districts with the most challenged students and the least valuation. That would invite a discrimination lawsuit at best and a federal intervention at worst. Many western states have gone through this same issue and each has had to formulate some type of equalization [of financial resources] plan. Most involve taking from rich valuation districts and distributing to poorer ones on a state formula.

  5. Let us recall the K-12 discussions of the past few years. I believe I was the first to mention that CCSD does NOT subsidize rural Nevada. Sure, Esmeralda CSD is a negative--the large families with remote residences and no industry--even no high school, just bus the kids to Tonopah until they drop out and find "jobs" washing dishes in Vegas. As mentioned previously, mining (not DSA) pays for most of K-12 in Elko CSD and Eureka CSD. Since then, some of the more money, more money crown have checked and found out that Eureka CSD is well off--kids take class trips to Europe.... I even recall bringing up (first?) that taxes on net proceeds of minerals (mines) is restricted by the Nevada Constitution. See, this forum has impact. Now the more money teachers are out to change the Constitution. What we need to address in our overall state-wide government is that K-12 is NOT the only essential program. We cannot dump so much of our revenue into K-12. We have thousands upon thousands of illegal students with no correlating increase in productive employment. We cannot pull more money out of the same old economy. And, it just doesn't sell that a more education work force will bring jobs. Hasn't happened in CC yet. CC has grown in population AND we have thousands upon thousands of unemployed American citizens with college degrees while illegals have jobs--more than 12% of our jobs stolen while their anchor babies bleed our welfare programs dry. Nix for seniors because we're feeding so many illegals.

  6. Of course CCSD is needed. It provides high paying jobs and great retirement benefits to many administrators.

  7. But Joan, just think of all the additional jobs we'll create if we break CCSD into four of five districts. And of course, it will cost taxpayers more money, more money.

  8. This the age old argument that we always hear from Republicans that everything should be privatized. Lets open up charter schools everywhere and give everybody a vocher to send their kids to pay for their school. What happens when the vocher doesn't pay the cost of the school year? That means you will have to get your wallet out.

  9. Roslenda:

    I'm not so sure as you that breaking up the district will cost more. In fact just the opposite. We know for example that thousands and thousands of dollars are wasted in Clark County on books and supplies that lay wasting in inventory and unused. Why? Well, I opine these are ordered centrally and the local schools have no knowledge of the inventory. If this were localized [site based ordering], it would be more efficient and effective. Hence, saving money for the schools and the teachers who are funding these purchases themselves. Money that can be spent on other educational issues like paying teachers more.

    Carmine D