Local News


Initiative that would let communities break away from CCSD raises equity concerns for some

These are photos of the Clark County School Board District headquarters located at Decatur and Jones as seen July 21, 2020
Posted at 4:38 PM, Jan 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-25 02:05:34-05

HENDERSON, Nev. (KTNV) — It is a topic of conversation that has floated around for over a decade in our community: dividing the Clark County School District into multiple districts.

PREVIOUS: Nevada initiative would allow new breakaway school districts

If Henderson schools were to break away from CCSD, the state legislature would have to make sure it is done in a way that does not put some students at a disadvantage over others.

And there are a lot of equity concerns that need to be considered.

“I really try not to think a lot about it because it’s been so unsuccessful that I’m not really worried about it,” said Anna Marie Binder, a parent with six kids across four schools in the district.

“You can talk about the problems and the issues CCSD has all day long, but when you have smaller municipalities breaking off from that, how can they offer a comparable education to a larger system?” Binder added.

Questions such as that remain to be answered.

“And so you’d have inner-city youth on the east side that wouldn’t be getting the same kind of education that the kids in Henderson would get,” she said.

Those in support of the new district say this would do just the opposite and provide a more focused education all around.

“We can really see and touch each one of those kids and really know their needs and then really narrowly focus the funding we have access to, to meet the needs of each kid,” said Erin Phillips, president of the Power2Parent Union.

Stimulus money from the federal government will be going out later in the year, and CCSD will get more than $777 million. About 20 percent of that, or $155 million, is meant to directly address the equity of education across the district.

Splitting the district would cause money like that to also be split.

“It’s going to take - however many school districts they have, there’s going to have to be that many superintendents, that many central offices,” said Kenneth Retzl, director of education policy at the Guinn Center. “There’s going to be duplication of efforts that are going to cause an increase of money. I would love to see what problems we have specifically identified that are holding back students and parents.”

At least one parent thinks more turnout at board meetings is the best way to create the change the community wants.

“You can’t ask for changes if you’re not willing to hold them accountable,” Binder said.