LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Tuesday, Gov. Steve Sisolak criticized the way Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara has handled the reopening of schools debate.
“In the midst of a global pandemic and a legislative special session to address our historic budget shortfall, we are focused on how to solve the major challenges facing our State. However, I cannot sit back and remain silent as Superintendent Jara tries to wrongfully place blame rather than taking responsibility for his actions. Enough is enough," said Sisolak.
Jara has since released his own statement including, "I regret that the discussion on Monday deterred the conversation away from education. I am sure we can collectively agree, it's time to redirect our focus to the 320,000 students we serve in the Clark County School District."
Here is the full statement Jara sent to 13 Action News:
I regret that the discussion on Monday deterred the conversation away from education. I am sure we can collectively agree, it's time to redirect our focus to the 320,000 students we serve in the Clark County School District.
The job of leading the fifth-largest school district in the nation is a tough one. It’s especially tough in the midst of a global COVID-19 pandemic, national and state budget crisis, and the social unrest that has erupted by decades of systemic racism in this country.
The past few months have left the state of Nevada reeling as we all, the Clark County School District, state legislature, local lawmakers, community members and parents try to determine the best way forward to ensure that our children get the education they deserve.
As a Latino man who came to this country as a child and worked his way out of poverty through the attainment of education, I understand what the decisions we make in the next few weeks mean for the children we serve. It is something that I am unapologetically passionate about.
But I want to be clear that I want to work hand in hand with our state leaders to find the right solutions for maintaining fiscal responsibility while at the same time giving our children and their families what they need to be successful.
It is in all our best interests to work together and that is my goal, but we have to get to a place of true collaboration.
When I was hired to be the superintendent of this great district, I was thrilled about all the opportunities to enhance education in the state of Nevada for our students. It was for this reason that I put together an experienced team of experts. However, CCSD remains one of the lowest funded urban districts in the nation.
I will continue to work with principals, teachers, parents, support professionals and other community stakeholders to find financial solutions to this unprecedented time in our history.
Working collaboratively with leadership, we want to find ways to implement a comprehensive plan utilizing the federal Cares funds within the $600 million to close the digital divide and implement an effective distance learning program for all students, as well as COVID-19 testing for all our employees.
We stand ready to continue the discussion. Our kids are counting on us to get this right.
Tuesday evening, the National Education Association of Southern Nevada (NEASN) called on Jara to resign.
In a statement, the NEASN released on twitter says, " As our country, our state and our county deals with the challenges of a global pandemic, we have looked to strong leadership to guide us through these dark times. Unfortunately, the Clark County School District does not have the leadership required to guide us."
Here is the full statement from NEASN: