LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Three quarters of a billion dollars will be sent to the Clark County School District to help southern Nevada's schools recover from the coronavirus pandemic, and the district is reaching out to the public and their partners to develop a plan to spend the money in the most effective way for area students.
The Clark County Education Association, the state's largest teacher's union, has been in contact with the district in talks to develop a spending plan.
Executive Director John Vellardita said there are several options on the table ranging from improving hybrid or distance learning options to hiring short-term mental health experts to help kids overcome pandemic related traumas.
In the long-term, Vellardita said it would be best to build bedrock programs that would outlast the one-time infusion of cash into the district.
"How do you get the most bang for your buck," he said, "and I would argue that the way to get the most bang for your buck is how do you recover the lost education from the previous year."
CCEA's biggest priority is potentially paying teachers to work for roughly another hour each day by extending the school day to recoup some of the educational time lost during distance learning.
Vellardita said of the current seven hours and 11 minutes of work time each teacher puts in there is approximately six hours and eleven minutes of teaching time, and adding 49 minutes to that time would allow teachers to bring students back up to their grade level over time.
"I think this is an opportunity to figure out how can we hone our skills, how can we develop programs, how can we enhance the learning experience of all of these kids with additional resources," Vellardita said.
CCEA estimates the cost of an extended day would amount to $150,000,000.
CCSD is reaching out to the public as well to get input about spending the money with a series of town halls in English and Spanish.
- Tuesday, Aug. 3 – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. – Virtual Spanish
- Wednesday, Aug. 4 – 5:30 to 7 p.m. – Town Hall with Clark County – 500 S. Grand Central Parkway
- Thursday, Aug. 5 – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. – Virtual English
- Tuesday, Aug. 10 – 5:30 to 7 p.m. – Town Hall with City of Henderson – 240 S. Water Street
The money from the American Rescue Plan is slated to be paid out over the course of three years, and CCSD said they plan to roll out a spending plan between March and May of 2022.