LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A charter school that abruptly closed last week is scheduled to reopen on Wednesday after most of its teaching staff resigned.
According to staff 8 News Now interviewed, 17 out of TEACH Las Vegas’ 23 teachers have resigned. The school is located on Rancho near Torrey Pines drives.
Tyler Branton started working there in January of 2022.
“All the teachers wanted to come to work. Kids wanted to come to school,” Branton said.
Yet Branton said when this school year started, things were different.
“We found out that they were not paying into our PERS, and then the employee who quit on his own accord. When all that drama started, we realized something was up, and it was not the same work environment anymore,” Branton said.
PERS is the pension plan Nevada public employees, such as teachers, police officers, and firefighters, pay into.
Branton, Charlene Domschot, and Veronica Ramirez were part of the 17 teachers who quit. All three spoke to 8 News Now, and they say they never saw their PERS contributions.
“Mid-September that all of this started coming out. So you know, this has been ongoing, and we weren’t getting answers from anywhere that we turned,” Domschot said. She started working at TEACH Las Vegas in August of this year.
A teacher provided 8 News Now with their latest pay stub showing the PERS deduction. But when they checked their account on the Nevada PERS website, the contribution wasn’t shown.
That teacher also shared a screenshot with 8 News Now taken from the Nevada PERS website that showed their account summary. It displayed the date of January 31, 2023, as the last time any update was made to the employee’s account.
“We definitely love those students and leaving them was not an easy choice. It wasn’t something that we wanted to do,” Domschot said.
8 News Now was there last Thursday as parents rushed to pick up their kids at TEACH Las Vegas, hours after dropping them off for school.
“I had to talk with a lot of students that were crying that were either leaving or staying behind. So, it’s just, it’s hard,” Veronica Ramirez said. Like Domschot, Ramirez also began at TEACH Las Vegas in August of this year.
The State Public Charter School Authority tells 8 News Now they are aware of the issue with PERS and are working with TEACH Las Vegas’s board to address it.
TEACH Las Vegas has not responded to any of 8 News Now’s requests for comment.
The charter school says on its website its interim director met with teachers and parents on Monday and Tuesday. Classes are still scheduled to start on Wednesday.
According to a letter posted online, TEACH says it will form a “close relationship” with another charter school, “possibly joining that school’s network.”
There will be a school board meeting held on Tuesday, October 17.