LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Clark County School District Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara is still taking heat over a decision to cut more than 100 secondary school deans to make up for a budget shortfall. And last Friday, Jara and the board were hit with a lawsuit claiming they violated Nevada’s Open Meeting Law just before the cuts were made public.
Before Thursday's meeting, Jara announced that 142 deans had been notified of their classroom reassignments and said he hoped they will choose to remain with the district, but the move was clearly still a sore spot with a lot of people.
While the board of trustees had a full agenda to get through, once again a topic that was not an agenda item was the topic no one could stop talking about. Even students on summer break showed up at the meeting.
“I’m very sad," said Vashay Young. "Because it was someone that I really cared about who cared about me that’s being eliminated. She was more than a dean.”
The elimination of 170 secondary school deans has since spawned a no confidence vote in Superintendent Jara from the union representing deans and other administrators; a lawsuit alleging Jara and the trustees violated an open meetings law from the same group; and a slew of concerns that it will affect student and staff safety because deans typically deal with student discipline issues.
“If school safety is your priority,,, " said Kim Ritzer, "assuming the remaining administrators will take on a discipline role is an absurd fiscal remedy!
Jara maintains the decision was strategic and actually saved jobs in light of a $17 million budget shortfall.
"You know when this legislative session started and looking at where the money in the budget was we would have had to cut 1,500 jobs," Jara said. "And where we are today nobody is losing their jobs."
In his review of the budget Jara mentioned plans to create two new positions that would take on some the same roles as a dean and would be paid for through state and federal money given to the district to improve safety.