LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Three Clark County School District Trustees and Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara spoke out after today’s special meeting.
Trustees Linda Cavasos, Danielle Ford and Linda Young released the following statement:
“We are disheartened that our fellow CCSD Trustees blocked a critical conversation today about the community’s confidence in Dr. Jara’s leadership.
We ask our students to treat each other with respect and listen to each other during classroom discussions. But today several Trustees chose to use a technicality to end the discussion.
We regret that our fellow Trustees were unwilling to participate in Board deliberations in good faith.
Today our voices were silenced, but we remain committed to asking the hard questions and expecting transparency.Trustee Linda Cavasos, Vice President
Trustee Danielle Ford, Clerk
Trustee Linda Young, Member
In an interview with 8 News Now following the meeting, Trustee Danielle Ford said she was not shocked with how the meeting ended. She said she had heard “whispers” that some of the trustees were going to find a technicality to end the meeting.
Ford also mentioned that this is not the end of the line. She spoke about how three trustees can call a special meeting and that they will likely call another meeting at some point.
Jara sent a message to parents, which reads:
Following today’s discussion at the Special Board Meeting, there is much work to be done to move forward for our children and our community. I am committed to leading our 320,000 students and 42,000 employees in partnership with the Board of School Trustees.
I am mindful that I have work to do in strengthening and developing relationships across all areas in which I work, and I am committed to doing so.
We are in the midst of unprecedented times and the weeks ahead will be challenging. I am confident that by working collaboratively together, we can address the immediate needs of our students and staff to safely reopen our schools. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve, focusing on our top priority, our children.Dr. Jesus Jara, CCSD Superintendent
The Board of Trustees ended their special meeting before discussing the final agenda item — possible termination of Jara.
Trustees argued as the meeting ended, with Ford and Young clearly upset that motion to end the meeting could not be debated or stopped.
Both Trustees had spoken earlier about problems with Jara’s leadership, communication and ability to lead the district. But Trustee Deanna Wright used procedure to end the debate before going on to the final agenda item. Trustee Chris Garvey seconded Wright’s motion.
A 4-3 vote ended the meeting.
Wright called the questions about Jara an “end run,” and told trustees that the questions being asked belonged in an employee evaluation, not an open meeting.
There were three items on the agenda:
- Conduct of Dr. Jesus Jara
- Representations regarding state directives for opening schools
- Termination for convenience of the employment contract with Dr. Jesus Jara
Much of the session centered on Assembly Bill 2, and whether Jara was behind the bill at the special session of the Nevada Legislature that ended July 19.
Jara hasn’t given a clear indication about his role.
Trustees also spent more than an hour discussing how Jara handled plans to reopen schools, and whether he had done a good job of keeping trustees informed of plans.
While Ford repeatedly tried to open up contact with the Nevada Department of Education during the live meeting, board officials showed her documents that provided dates that she wanted to ask about.
The teachers union — the Clark County Education Association — issued this statement following the meeting:
CCEA believes that the majority of the CCSD Trustees made the right decision today. The reckless and irresponsible act to send our school district into chaos was avoided. Now is the time to focus educating our 320,000 students and our 40,000 employees. Accomplishing a successful distance learning experience for our students will require the effort of everyone. Political distractions, like this one, must come to an end. CCEA will continue to work with CCSD as we navigate through these challenging times.
Additionally, CCEA will move forward in electing responsible and sensible candidates to lead our school district in the November elections. In addition, we will support legislation in the 2021 Nevada Legislative Session to amend the governance of School Boards to ensure that there is capable and qualified leadership at the helm. Finally, CCEA will continue to pursue securing the adequate funding levels our 320,000 students need to get an education in the State of Nevada.
The union had released two letters prior to the meeting expressing their support for Jara and describing Trustee Danielle Ford as the source of Jara’s problems with the school board.