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Las Vegas business community reacts to Dr. Jesus Jara's firing

Superintendent Jesus Jara.png
Posted at 5:37 PM, Nov 01, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The firing of Clark County School District Supt. Jesus Jara may go beyond education. The Las Vegas business community is concerned the fighting and behavior from the school board is tarnishing the perception of education in Southern Nevada and could make it difficult to attract new business and investment in our area.

“Showing that video to a company that maybe has Las Vegas or Austin, Texas or anywhere, pick any city. Showing that tape. You think that helps us?”

RELATED: Clark County School District trustees criticized for Jara ouster, division among board members

Latin Chamber of Commerce President Peter Guzman couldn’t believe the behavior he saw at last Thursday’s CCSD school board meeting where trustees voted to fire Jara.

“You saw a bunch of adults not being able to get along and work together and show some consistency,” Guzman said.

RELATED: Dr. Jara is out, what comes next?

He says scenes like that reflect poorly on the valley’s education system, potentially causing prospective entrepreneurs or businesses to look elsewhere to set up shop, despite Nevada being a business-friendly state. Guzman feels the discussion should center on student success and achievements rather than outside agendas.

WATCH THE FULL MEETING: School trustees vote to terminate Jara's contract

“There’s no question we have the right teachers, I’m just not sure we have the right politics going on and that scares me a little bit that politics is grabbing hold of our education, and that could be a problem,” he said.

Guzman says education and business go hand in hand and the perception of public schools plays a huge part.

“We’re educating and training our future employees, workers, and business owners and entrepreneurs and so businesses see this and get turned off,” he said.

The Vegas Chamber already made a statement criticizing the agenda items of firing Jara and removing trustee Linda Cavazos as board president asking trustees and the superintendent in part to, "collaborate harmoniously for the sake of students.”

RELATED: Vegas Chamber says Clark County School District trustees have 'lost focus'

The Asian Chamber of Commerce shares the same feelings saying it worries the perception of instability in CCSD leadership could have Asian-owned businesses or entrepreneurs rethink about coming to Clark County, especially with the emphasis many in the AAPI community place on education.

Guzman says he hopes the school board can redirect its focus to students with whomever the new superintendent may be.

RELATED: Clark County School Board to meet, discuss replacing Supt. Jesus Jara

“What we witnessed at that board meeting was adults arguing and throwing accusations around and very little and very little about math reading and science and the rest of the world is who we compete with and we need to get it right,” he said.

The search for stability within CCSD will continue as trustees are expected to talk about a plan to appoint an interim superintendent at Thursday night’s special board meeting.