CCSD Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky’s announced his retirement Thursday. Skorkowsky plans to leave the school district in June 2018.
Skorkowsky’s decision comes as the district navigates through some major issues.
The $60 million budget shortfall in the Clark County School District has been making headlines for a week, but there has been tension at the school district for several months.
Superintendent Skorkowsky sent out a memo containing a fiscal outlook for the year. The memo says up to $80 million in cuts would be needed for the year, but since it will take effect in the second quarter of the fiscal year, the real cost is closer to $50-60 million. This issue will most likely cost layoffs.
A timeline shows that cost ballooning from $43 million in board-approved cuts last month, to the current situation, and a timeline moving forward. This all comes as the latest in a triad of issues this year.
In March 2017, right after CCSD’s Board of Trustees sued the state of Nevada to halt reorganization, state lawmakers fast-tracked a bill to codify policies into law and render the lawsuit moot.
Assembly Bill 469 forced reorganization to move forward.
The bill was sponsored by Assembly Minority Leader Paul Anderson and three other legislative leaders.
“Based on the investments in education we’ve made so far, and wanting to continue to make, it’s important that this money gets to the classroom and is as effective as possible,” said Anderson.
One month later in April 2017 tensions boiled over at a board of trustees meeting.
“You didn’t share it with me; you didn’t share it with the board president or the board officers,” Skorkowsky said.
“My intent for these were not any kind of threat of terminating people’s employment,” said Chris Garvey, CCSD Board of Trustees.
Garvey initially proposed discussing terminating certain high-level employee contracts, many who work closely with the superintendent. Some saw it as a move to force Skorkowsky out as well.
During an interview on wit Politics Now co-host Steve Sebelius, reorganization consultant Tom Skancke said that tension had been happening for years, not just as the district fought reorganization.
“You know Steve, what we’ve found is the culture at the school district is a culture of fear, Skancke said. “It really is, and it’s been going on for decades, but it’s not anything this superintendent has started, or this board has started.”
The board of trustees will look over proposed cuts on Sept. 14th. Officials will then decide whether layoffs will be needed come October.
Skorkowsky will be sticking around through the end of the fiscal year which is in June, but in the meantime, he will continue to navigate the district through both the budget deficit and the first year of the reorganization process.