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Committee to discuss breaking up CCSD

Posted at 10:48 AM, Oct 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-10 13:48:30-04
After months of discussion, the process that could see the Clark County School District broken up into smaller precincts is set to get underway Monday.
The legislative committee created by AB 394 is set to convene for the first time at the Grant Sawyer Building at 9:30 a.m. Monday.
Assemblyman David Gardner, who drafted the bill, says he expects the process to be a long one, but ultimately worth it.
"What Mesquite needs is not going to be what Henderson needs," Gardner said.
That’s why the assemblyman says he wants CCSD split into smaller precincts, making it easier for schools to reflect the needs of students in the surrounding community.
"I see an elected board running the precinct, running the schools, having contracts with the teachers," Gardner said.
AB 394 calls for a legislative committee to discuss how to break up CCSD, with input from representatives in each of the surrounding cities.
The assemblyman says he still sees a need for CCSD, although on a much smaller scale.
"I see things like maybe transportation, maybe purchasing or maybe substitute teachers would stay at the county level," Gardner said.
Sen. Aaron D. Ford was among 12 state lawmakers who voted against the bill
In a statement late Friday Ford said:
“I look forward to beginning the conversation regarding Assembly Bill 394. This conversation must, however, be comprehensive and all-encompassing. Indeed, breaking up the school district would be a drastic shift in how we administer education for hundreds of thousands of students across Clark County. Any break-up proposal must be equitable and fair, and we must pay particular attention to how it will affect educational resources for our minority and low-income students who too often are already left behind.” 
This polite disagreement is likely to give way to years of heated debate over what's best for students.
"That is the point of the bill. We are going to discuss these things," Gardner said.
The process is expected to last at least two years and include a minimum of six town hall meetings before a final decision is made.
A district spokeswoman said it wants the what is best for the students, adding CCSD will be following the process closely.