LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Clark County Education Association has taken a critical vote and authorized a teacher strike for the 2019-2020 school year.
The strike would occur "if the Clark County School District carries out threats of budget cuts due to lack of funding from the State during the current legislative session," according to the teacher's union.
According to CCEA, the online vote included more than 5,000 teachers who voted by a 78 percent margin to authorize a strike.
The Clark County Education Association said it has about 11,000 current members. According to CCSD, the total number of licensed personnel is more than 18,000.
CCEA's executive director John Vellardita said they're watching and waiting to see what happens in the remaining weeks of the legislative session in Carson City. He wants $120 million more allocated a year in resources for CCSD and for pay raises.
A teacher's strike is also against Nevada law.
"It's prohibited, and everybody knew that when they were making a decision. Our organization doesn't take this decision lightly. We're not being cavalier about it, but we've reached a tipping point," Vellardita said.
CCSD also provided reaction to the voting results released Sunday afternoon.
"About 4,000 of our teachers have indicated they would like to strike next August. While this vote might not tell us how the majority of our 18,000 teachers feel, it does demonstrate the frustration now with the lack of funding for education in Nevada," Dr. Jesus Jara, CCSD superintendent said in a statement.
"Teacher strikes are illegal in Nevada because educators provide an essential service to our students," Jara said. "I will take necessary legal action to prevent an illegal strike while continuing to advocate in the final days of the legislative session to improve teaching and learning conditions," the statement concluded.
Parents made aware of the strike authorization vote said they will pay close attention.
"I think ultimately the kids are the ones that are missing out if they do go on strike, so who else would actually teach?" said Adely Rosales, mother to a son at Red Rock Elementary. "So that's where it gets tricky," she said, adding she understands the need for more funding but would not support a strike.