LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Clark County Board of Trustees postponed a vote on a controversial decision to eliminate 170 seconday school dean positions during a regular meeting Thursday night at the Clark County Government Center.
The meeting was a sort of a “do over” for the board which is now facing a lawsuit over claims it violated the Nevada Open Meeting Act when the dean cuts were made. Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara addressed the litigation right off the bat. Dr. Jara said he believed the meeting was legal because it dealt with confidential negotiations protected under the law.
“The law allows the board of trustees and I to correct any alleged violation of the open meeting law,” Dr. Jara said. “The purpose of this meeting is so that we may cure any alleged violation claimed within the lawsuit and ensure that public is fully advised of the opinions and support of the board of trustees concerning the elimination of the dean’s position.”
Thursday’s meeting came just days after a judge set a hearing for next month after the union representing the deans filed suit saying the superintendent broke the law by meeting behind closed doors before announcing the cuts. Despite the superintendent’s assertion that the meeting was legal the decision continued to be controversial among district employees and the board.
Trustee Linda Young is a former dean who said she wanted to speak on the record about several things surrounding the process that led to the unpopular decision.
“The deans among others help to provide that important connection to the students future success,” she said. “Again, I do not support the elimination of high school or middle school deans or any equivalent positions within the CCSD.”
Public comment spanned more than two hours, but in the end the trustees did not take a vote. Superintendent Jara said he will meet with his cabinet Monday to explore other options but did not specify if cutting the dean positions are totally off the table at this point.