LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Thousands of teachers have said they have no confidence in the leadership of the Clark County school superintendent, according to a survey from the state’s largest teachers union.
“We have graduation rates that are suspect,” Clark County Education Association President Marie Neisess told 8newsnow.com on Thursday. “We have our low proficiency rates. We have a gap that continues to get bigger between our at-risk students and our other students. And then we’re not graduating students who are college and career ready.”
CCEA released a statement on the results of its survey.
“Several thousand educators participated in the survey, and 75% have ‘no confidence’ in their ability to effectively spend these funds to improve student outcomes,” the statement reads.
Republican Governor Joe Lombardo said earlier this year he would bring historic funding to Nevada schools. Yet, CCEA says the district’s leadership isn’t qualified to spend it.
Neisess said Clark County School District Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara’s policies and plans aren’t effective.
“There aren’t plans that are forward thinking on how we’re going to continue to address these issues that are students are facing,” Neisess said.
CCEA represents more than 18,000 educators and licensed professionals.
The main concern is over the district’s ability to improve student outcomes, a topic Dr. Jara addressed before lawmakers on March 31st in Carson City.
Jara told a joint committee of members of the assembly and senate that before his 2018 hiring, the district struggled.
“When we look at the expectation that we set before coming out of Covid, we didn’t have any of these systems. There was an adult-driven culture to protecting adults, protecting special interest versus protecting our children,” Jara said.
The district revealed at that hearing it currently has 91 one-star schools, schools that stand to benefit from the new funds.
Below is the statement CCSD released to 8newsnow.com in response to CCEA’s claims:
“With the questionable nature of this purported survey, this is an attempt by CCEA–who barely represent half of the teachers in CCSD–to influence contract negotiations in a bad faith attempt to leverage what little credibility they have left with teachers.”
Here is the full statement the Clark County Education Association will release on Friday:
In his inaugural State of the State address, Governor Lombardo made a historic commitment to fund public education in Nevada, pledging an additional $2 billion to the budget. He also indicated that with this historic investment must come increased accountability—and CCEA agrees. As such, when it comes to education policy in the 2023 Nevada Legislative Session, the overarching theme has been one of increased accountability at every level of our education delivery system. CCEA believes that CCSD should be given one year to demonstrate they are using state funding on programs and strategies to improve student outcomes.
Democratic Legislative Leadership announced legislative hearings where district Superintendents were required to present their plans for how they will spend this historic investment in education. On March 31, 2023 Superintendent Jara and CCSD presented before the Legislature and from CCEA’s perspective failed to present a clear plan on how new funding will be used to improve student outcomes. CCEA conducted a survey to assess Clark County educators’ confidence in Superintendent Jara. Several thousand educators participated in the survey, and 75% have ‘no confidence’ in his ability to effectively spend these funds to improve student outcomes.
We are now going on five years under Jara’s tenure as superintendent. From the very beginning, he’s told the community to judge him not by his rhetoric, but by his record—and that record couldn’t be more clear. Graduation rates are suspect, proficiency levels continue to be chronically low, the disparities between our most at-risk students and everyone else continue to widen, and our students are fundamentally not college or career ready upon leaving CCSD.
That’s why we’re now taking the results of our educator survey and posing the same question of confidence to the public. We will be running a multi-week canvassing campaign in the community to talk directly with voters and constituents about the state of the district and their confidence in Superintendent Jara to improve the learning outcomes of our students.