LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Legislation introduced Wednesday in Carson City looks to carve up the Clark County School District (CCSD) — but only for school board positions.
Assembly Bill 175 (AB175) would blow up the current methods for choosing school board members in Clark County and Washoe County.
The CCSD Board of Trustees would go from seven elected members down to four. In addition to the four elected board members, one board member would be appointed by the Clark County Commission, and two more board members would be appointed by the two biggest cities in the county — Las Vegas and Henderson. After all is said and done, it’s still a seven-member board, but the county and the cities gain a bigger voice over education.
Similarly, the Washoe County School District board would be remade. Seven elected positions would be reduced to four. Washoe County would appoint one board member, and the other two would be appointed by the cities of Reno and Sparks.
Sponsors of the bill are Assembly Education Committee Chairwoman Shannon Bilbray-Axelrod, a Democrat who represents District 34, and Republican Assemblyman Toby Yurek, who represents northeast Clark County.
Opposition could come from Washoe County Assembly members and from North Las Vegas members.
CCSD trustees have been involved in heavy infighting in recent years, at one point firing Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara and then bringing him back with assurances that trustees wouldn’t meddle. He also got a hefty raise at the end of the political battle. A former Nevada Assemblywoman, Irene Bustamante Adams, won election to the board in November.
Additional elements of AB175:
- Newly defined election districts should be as nearly equal in population as possible, and composed of contiguous territory.
- Each trustee would holds office until a successor is appointed or elected and qualified.
- Appointed members are not subject to the same requirements as elected members.
- Vacancies involving elected positions are to be filled by appointment at a public meeting of the board of trustees.
- Vacancies that occur among the appointed members must be filled by the appointing authority.