Nevada Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager called Wednesday for Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara to resign, accusing the district of squandering the opportunity to improve public education in the state since the end of the legislative session.
“This moment in time cries out for a change in leadership to restore trust in CCSD and bring new and fresh ideas to public education in Southern Nevada,” Yeager said in a statement from the Nevada Assembly Democratic Caucus Wednesday. “Nevadans deserve nothing less and should settle for nothing less.”
The Nevada Assembly Democratic Caucus said that during the legislative session, which ended in June, Jara was unable to provide the Legislature with a plan to improve education and teacher recruitment and retention, or to boost morale in the district.
In February, Democratic lawmakers summoned school district leaders to the Legislature to detail how they’d use an additional $2 billion in proposed funding.
Ahead of that meeting, legislative staff sent a document in March to Nevada public school district superintendents outlining questions they must address. But the state’s largest teachers union drafted those questions, raising questions about the amount of influence the union has over the Democrat-majority Legislature.
The district said in a statement that Jara will remain in his position as long as the Board of Trustees wants him to do so.
“No bullying, pressure, harassment, or coordination with the leadership of the (Clark County Education Association) will deter him from his job to educate our 300,000 students and protect taxpayer resources from those who wish to harm the District or its finances,” the district said.
The district also referenced recent reporting which found that more than a dozen legislators, most of them Democrats, had connections to organizations that received over $33 million from the state during the last legislative session.
“Speaker Yeager has his hands full trying to keep his house in order, and distracting from those issues by meddling in the affairs of the District will not change the choices made by him and his members to improperly direct funds by members with conflicts,” the district wrote.
Completely lost ‘trust of the public’
The Clark County Education Association, which represents more than 18,000 licensed employees in the school district, also called for Jara to resign in May.
Despite the Legislature passing a record education budget, allocating funding for teacher pay raises and passing a teacher pipeline bill to address vacancies in the classroom, Jara “squandered this opportunity, further antagonized the public and completely lost the trust of the public in Clark County,” the caucus wrote in a statement Wednesday.
Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo, who has pushed for school choice and signed historic legislation supporting education, declined to comment.
A previous version of this story misstated Steve Yeager’s statement regarding school vouchers.