Clark County seeks state funding for portable classrooms

There may be fewer students per kindergarten teacher because of a state mandate, but the Clark County School District is struggling to find room for the 167 additional kindergarten classes this creates.

To make room, the district will ask the state for $3.92 million to buy 60 portable classrooms, according to a unanimous School Board vote on Thursday. State lawmakers set aside money for portable classrooms in legislation requiring that schools reduce kindergarten classes to 21 students each.

Clark County schools, which are pressed for space, received a waiver to make that 25 students, at most, per classroom, which is still an improvement considering some kindergarten teachers previously had 38 students, Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky said Monday during a visit to elementary schools.

Skorkowsky emphasized Thursday that kindergartners wouldn’t be put in portable classrooms. Upper-grade elementary students would move into the new portable classrooms, giving up their building classrooms to kindergarten classes.

Many of the district’s 217 elementary schools already rely on portables due to enrollments exceeding student capacities by an average of 16 percent last school year.

District officials expect district-wide enrollment to jump from 315,000 at this time last year to 320,000 students, with most of the growth happening at elementary schools.