Lawmakers OK studying Clark County School District breakup

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Nevada lawmakers have approved a measure that seeks to break up the Clark County School District.  The Senate gave final approval to Assembly Bill 394 Monday with just minutes left in the legislative session.
  
If signed by the governor, the measure would put an interim committee in charge of studying how to break up the nation’s fifth largest school district into five evenly divided school precincts before the 2018-19 school year.

“Smaller school districts tend to be more nimble tend to improve their student achievement quicker,” said Assemblyman David Gardener, R-NV.

Currently, the Clark County School District serves 15 cities and unincorporated areas.  There are 357 schools in the district and there’s a record enrollment of 319,000 students. 

If AB394 is passed, it will give smaller school districts an option to combine and share resources.  Gardner said breaking up the district would give parents more access to school administration.

However, not everyone was happy about the passage of AB394.  Senator Aaron Ford, D-NV, was upset that he was forced to vote.

“I understand we’re up against the clock, but at this hour, you don’t put forth legislation that’s going to affect our communities negatively, without giving us the chance to address the issues,” Ford said.

CCSD School Board Trustee Kevin Child says if the bill is approved, it will create a rift in valley schools, meaning there will be good schools in rich districts and under performing schools in poor districts.

“If they break up the district in five different ways it’s going to create have and have nots,” Childs said.  “It’s not the size of the school district. It’s the size of the classroom. That’s what matters.”

The governor still has to decide if he will sign or veto AB394.  The study will cost around $800,000, and the interim committee will be made up of lawmakers, legislative staff and members of the public.

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