Among the education reform measures passed in Nevada this session is the a proposal to break up Clark County School District’the fifth largest in the nation’into a series of smaller districts. Read more
The recent legislative session in Nevada, which wrapped up last month, was a busy one for education. Among the legislation passed were bills to establish education savings accounts, funding for pre-K, literacy, and English as a Second Language programs, and a statewide achievement school district. Among the education reform measures is the a proposal to break up Clark County School District’the fifth largest in the nation’into a series of smaller districts.
Assembly Bill 394 requires a nine-member committee to develop and implement a plan to split the district into an unspecified number of local precincts by the 2018-2019 school year. The bill’s main sponsor, Assemblyman David Gardner (R-Las Vegas), however, has suggested that common functions like finance and transportation stay administered at the county level. The bill was approved only minutes from the close of the legislative session on June 1, and passed 35-5 in the Assembly and 13-7 in the Senate.
Clark County currently serves about 320,000 students in 357 schools across over 8,000 square miles; it encompasses neighborhoods that run the gamut from North Las Vegas to the wealthier suburbs of Henderson and Summerlin. Critics worry that splitting the district would create an unequal tax base to fund schools, creating the risk that disadvantaged students would beΙde factoΙsegregated into under-funded precincts and possibly undermining students’ ability to attend magnet schools of their choice. Other concerns revolve around how the split district will be able to wrangle $4 billion in loans to build new schools, and whether the district’s credit rating might be downgraded as a result of the uncertainty that the bill’s passage caused. Stay tuned, as we’ll be watching closely!