LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara raised concerns about not having a final budget from the state as the district prepares to reopen for the start of a new school year.
“We are running out of time for us to be able to open up school safely without some of the details on the numbers,” he said during a virtual news conference Tuesday morning. “There’s a lot of stress being put on a lot of folks.”
Jara said the district has come up with a school budget that has nearly $38 million in cuts compared to the previous year and will make its plans with that budget. However, without having more definitive numbers from the state, he said it’s making planning for the reopening of schools difficult.
“If the numbers have to go a lot higher that becomes a problem for us,” he said. “We just can’t turn a switch and make a decision.”
Jara said the community wants to know and principals need time to plan. Most principals work an 11-month schedule are will be off work from June 19 until July 22 which will mean they could be making last minute decisions if school does open on Aug. 10.
“We’ll have to go back and make some decisions and make some changes in August and July, which is a little bit problematic for us to be making changes and making decisions and making cuts then,” said Jara.
Jara would not release any details about how schools will operate once reopened. He said different models are being review by a reopening committee made up of educators and parents. He did say a plan will be presented to the school board on June 25 and then must be approved by the state.
“How do we get kids on bus, how to we get kids in a school, how do we offer recess? How do we provide our students a high quality education following the CDC guidelines?”
Among the the biggest challenges that could impact the budget, according to Jara, is how to safely transport students on buses and observe social distancing. It could mean the district will need additional buses.
“Following social distancing around transportation, that’s going to be a problem for us,” said Jara. “The cleaning of our schools in between at the end of the day, before.”
Also, will additional classroom space be needed, and how will the daily cleaning of schools and playgrounds be handled. The cleaning issue was of high importance to parents in a recent CCSD survey.
“We are putting in plan in place cause I can’t wait,” he said.