LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Frustrations are mounting within the Clark County School District. Dozens of middle and high school principals have given Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara a vote of “no confidence.”
The Clark County Association of School Administrators and Professional-Technical Employees, a group that represents principals, deans and administrators voted unanimously. The group of 72 middle and high school principals said it is the first no-confidence vote on a CCSD superintendent in its history.
The vote came just before Jara attended an education forum at the UNLV Wednesday evening. The panel was held inside Greenspun Auditorium. It was supposed to focus on various education issues, but for much of the time the superintendent was on the hot seat in the wake of his decision to cut 170 dean positions from middle and high schools.
“Those positions are really indispensable, and schools are going to suffer,” said CCASAPE Executive Director Stephen Augspurger. “Students are not going to be safe. It’s only going to get worse.”
Parents and other educators want more answers. Several expressed concerns about how Dr. Jara made the announcement; via a video on the school district website while many educators are on vacations or out of town at conferences.
Dr. Jara explained that many larger districts don’t have administrative deans. He said the cuts were strategic and the only alternative would have been to cut other programs that directly impact students like transportation, arts programs and magnet schools. He also said with 900 vacancies in the schools the deans whose positions were eliminated would be able to find other positions in the classroom.
There were also concerns that the decision was made during a closed-door meeting of CCSD trustees.
I was clearly not satisfied with his response,” said Augspurger. “And my closing comment is if that is the response he gave to trustees in closed session shame on the trustees for approving it.”
Superintendent Jara said the 72 secondary principals who took part in that no confidence vote represent only a small portion of the districts secondary school principals.
“I've had good conversations with some of them already and they've been very supportive of the decisions we've been making,” said Jara.
He went on to say that he is sympathetic but had to make a decision that was in the best interest of the children the district serves.