Housing allowance

There were plenty of problems with the Clark County School District's rush to hire and secure a contract with incoming Superintendent Dwight Jones. But the district's arrangement to use private money to cover Mr. Jones' temporary housing costs is not one of them.

The School Board should have waited until after the Nov. 2 election, when up to three new members will be seated, before hiring a replacement for the retiring Walt Rulffes. It didn't. The board should have directed its search firm to identify strong candidates with significant leadership experience outside public education. It didn't.

Instead it reached a deal with Mr. Jones, Colorado's education commissioner, who will receive $23,000 for his moving costs and pre-start travel to Las Vegas, plus some expenses. His base salary will be $270,000, a $45,000 raise over his current annual pay.

But taxpayers won't be on the hook for some of Mr. Jones' relocation expenses when his four-year contract begins Dec. 15. The Public Education Foundation -- a local group dedicated to improving Nevada schools -- will provide Mr. Jones with a housing allowance of up to $5,000 per month for six months until he settles on a permanent home.

The local teachers union worries that donors might be trying to buy influence with Mr. Jones. Their concerns would be more compelling if the money were flowing to the elected members of the School Board.

Private-sector taxpayers should in no way be expected to cover this type of generous expense. But if a nonprofit foundation can line up donors for such a purpose -- $30,000 for temporary housing? Wow! -- more power to it.

Nevada's education system needs more public-private partnerships, not fewer.