Clark County School District Goes to Court!

by kconroy on January 6, 2017

Assembly Bill 394 is a law passed in Nevada in 2015. If you have children who are in the Clark County School District, or soon will be, then you must understand and keep up with how this new law is being put in place. CCSD is now the fifth largest school district in the United States, serving more than 315,000 children over 8000 square miles. Nevada lawmakers, noting how large CCSD has become, have decided to break up CCSD into “local school precincts”.
Given the differences between the needs of school children in rural areas as opposed to urban cores for example, local school precincts make sense in that they allow for more local input and control of educational decisions and outcomes. Other larger school districts such as Los Angeles Unified School District (the second largest district in the country) similarly rely on local districts, each with its own superintendent and board.
Lawmakers understood that it would take some focus and time to design and implement this new system, so AB 394 created an Advisory Committee to sort out the details and gave CCSD up to the 2018/2019 school year to implement the new law. This probably seemed like ample time in 2015; but according to a new lawsuit filed by CCSD, it was not nearly sufficient.
Regulations are rules and administrative codes crafted by public agencies to interpret new or revised laws. Regulation 142-16 was written and approved by the State Board of Education to put meat on the bones of AB 394. But according to CCSD, R142-16 unfairly accelerates the time line for the transition to local control by a whole year. R142-16 also slams CCSD with unfunded and extreme charges-not the least of which is a disputed $1.2 Million consultant fee to help facilitate the changeover, according to CCSD’s lawsuit.
ADAMS ESQ has obtained and reviewed a copy of the lawsuit filed by CCSD on December 21, 2016, against both the Nevada Department of Education and the State Board of Education in an effort to temporarily halt R142-16. According to the lawsuit, among other things, R142-16 imposes a January 15, 2017 deadline by which each local precinct principal must develop a budget for the 2017/2018 school year. CCSD claims that this is impossible as the principals feel unprepared for the transition. They do not even have a notion as to how to complete the budgets as they have not received the funding formula promised by the Nevada Department of Education. With a $2.3 Billion General Fund at stake, CCSD has requested a court order invalidating R142-16 and an order permanently stopping some of its (allegedly) illegal provisions regarding the current transition. Stay tuned for more information as this lawsuit progresses.

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