LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Thursday’s Clark County School Board meeting comes on the heels of a request from some state lawmakers to fire the superintendent.
One of the main arguments of his critics is that more teachers have left under his watch.
It took more than three months for the school district to hand over records on the number of vacancies within CCSD, and the data showed a rise in teachers leaving throughout Dr. Jesus Jara’s tenure.
The data 8 News Now obtained goes back to the 2018-2019 school year when Jara took the top job.
In August of 2018 when classes were set to begin, teacher vacancies were at 557. The following year in 2019, it was 785.
Classes were remote in 2020 due to the pandemic.
In 2021, vacancies at CCSD were 625 but then there was a large jump. The number of vacancies more than doubled by the time classes began in 2022 to 1,307, and for the start of this year, it was 1,131.
Superintendent Jara previously discussed this issue with 8 News Now in August.
“Not being compensated for their years of service. They are not being compensated for their degrees. How is it fair when you have a schedule that pays a two or three-year teacher, more money than somebody who has been in the district,” Jara said.
The Clark County Education Association argues that they’re negotiating for higher teacher salaries to keep the current ones from leaving and help retain new educators.
“Our district is in a crisis and the crisis is that every student is not getting a quality education, because we don’t have a licensed teacher in front of each and every classroom,” CCEA President Marie Neisess said.
Republican Governor Joe Lombardo also weighed in on the high turnover at CCSD in September.
“Part of the reason why there’s vacancies within the education environment, it’s because they don’t feel they’re properly compensated, and I agree,” Gov. Lombardo said on Sept. 19.
The schools this year with the highest number of vacancies were all in North Las Vegas:
Cheyenne High School – 30
Johnston Middle School – 25
Swainston Middle School – 18
CCEA, the state’s largest teacher’s union, said the vacancy rate is actually higher because CCSD isn’t counting the number of classrooms that have full-time substitutes.
As for those raises, contract discussions between CCSD and CCEA are in arbitration after both sides declared an impasse.
In a statement to 8 News Now, CCSD says:
Nevada is among approximately three-quarters of states that are facing a teacher shortage.
CCSD Human Resources works year-round to recruit and retain teachers. During the 2022-23 school year, CCSD hired 2,170 licensed employees. That is more than 100 employees over any of the past five years.