CCSD School Board President Wants to Sue State - 8 News NOW

CCSD School Board President Wants to Sue State

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LAS VEGAS -- One educator in Clark County wants to file a lawsuit against the state over how state leaders have handled budget cuts. The president of the school district's board of trustees says Nevada has violated the law when it comes to adequately funding education.

This news comes after the results of a Clark County School District survey on how to balance the budget were presented to the district. About 13,000 people responded to the survey.

"I think we need to have a conversation about suing the state for not fulfilling its duties," said President Carolyn Edwards, CCSD Board of Trustees.

With $375 million in cuts over the last three years and talk of another $400 million on the chopping block, Edwards believes Nevada is in violation.

"The constitution says the state will fund education. It doesn't define how well they'll fund it, but it's an implied statement that it would be adequate to educate children," said Edwards.

She says trustees don't have legal standing to file against the state, because they're part of the government. But, she says it's a call to action for other groups to start talking.

CCSD attorney Bill Hoffman says there is legal standing to file against the state on the basis of the district being underfunded.

"It's a legitimate claim to make that we're underfunded," he said. "Whether that constitutes as a violation of the law is a question for the courts."

At issue is whether the school district is adequately funded. Hoffman says a 2006 report funded by the Nevada Legislature says no. Governor Brian Sandoval has a different answer.

''I'm very confident we're meeting our responsibilities in terms of funding education," he said. "I'm hopeful that it doesn't have to go to litigation, and I think calmer heads will prevail."

Should the dispute land in a courtroom, Hoffman says a judge would have to decide which constitutional amendment takes precedent: adequately funding education or balancing the state's budget.

The legal process could take years. Educators say classrooms can't afford to wait. "This is going to really have a serious impact on the education we can provide our children," Edwards said.

Hoffman says one government agency can't sue another. So, the lawsuit would have to be filed by a Clark County parent or private organization.

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