LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — An initiative that could have led to the breakup of the Clark County School District (CCSD) failed to get enough valid signatures to qualify for the 2024 ballot, organizers said Friday.
The Community Schools Initiative fell short of requirements for 140,777 valid signatures divided equally amongst Nevada’s congressional districts, despite collecting 230,000 signatures statewide. The initiative would have allowed cities to form their own school districts.
CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara issued a statement later in the day.
“With the initiative not achieving the valid number of signatures necessary to qualify, this distraction can be put to rest,” he said. “CCSD will continue working with legislators and governor-elect to ensure optimal education funding, and the policies necessary to improve student academic outcomes for all students no matter their zip code. We will continue to meet our students where they are, no matter where they come from, or how they show up.”
A news release said the Nevada of Secretary of State’s Office informed organizers that the signatures failed to meet requirements.
“Although we are disappointed this initiative did not qualify, we are not deterred,” Dan Stewart, a primary organizer in pushing the Community Schools Initiative, said Friday. “We have generated great momentum in the last several months.”
Stewart, who considered running for Henderson mayor and criticized CCSD, said the initiative brought awareness to the need to create school districts that are more responsive to the communities and bring education decisions “closer to our students and teachers.”
Stewart suggested the initiative would be filed again in 2024.
Gov.-elect Joe Lombardo campaigned for change in schools and said he would evaluate the proposal to break up CCSD as the initiative gained momentum.
“Under the current administration, Nevada has been overrun with dysfunctional bureaucracy. Our school districts need leadership and a future-forward vision that finally addresses a lack of leadership, underperforming and unsafe schools, and a 78% increase in staff vacancies,” his campaign website states.
With the initiative dead, it will be up to Lombardo and the Democrat-controlled Nevada Legislature to make a change — which appears unlikely.