Teachers overtake school board, threatened with arrest
Within minutes of starting Wednesday's school board meeting, irate teachers brought it to a screeching halt. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Within minutes of starting Wednesday's school board meeting, irate teachers brought it to a screeching halt.
Union teachers reacting to news that 1,015 licensed teaching staff would be laid off next year in the district's effort to close a $60 million budget hole.
"Save our kids, save our schools," chanted the crowd, inside school board chambers as the board struggled to regain control.
The meeting was briefly called to recess and the board threatened to start arresting people if the crowd continued the disruption.
"I am disappointed with the teachers union," said school board president Dr. Linda Young. "I don't appreciate people coming and trying to infer that we are here to try and sabotage and hurt people. That's insulting. It's demeaning."
The board contends that teachers fought to keep their pay raises this year, a decision an arbitrator agreed with, leaving the district little choice but to lay off teachers.
Other unions representing support staff, administrators and school police agreed to pay freezes leaving teachers the lone holdouts.
"What the district needs to do it get behind us and support us in finding alternative sources of revenue," says Ruben Murillo, president of the Clark County Education Association, the union representing teachers. "Instead the district wants to go after teacher contracts, teacher rights, and bash teachers."
Board members seemed personally offended by the attacks.
"Every single person in this room has tried to think, how can we find a solution," said Trustee Chris Harvey.
"We tried to save jobs," added Trustee Deanna Wright. "We got shut down."
The 1,015 positions being eliminated are:
- 840 licensed school staff
- 175 literacy specialists, representing a complete elimination
What does this mean for kids?
The district estimates class sizes will rise by 2-3 kids next year.
Trustee Carolyn Edwards called this a "very sad day" for the district.