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Teachers union calls for CCSD superintendent to resign

Updated May 19, 2023 - 6:33 pm

The Clark County Education Association announced Thursday it had unanimously passed a resolution calling for Superintendent Jesus Jara to resign.

The teachers union, which represents more than 18,000 licensed employees in the school district, made the announcement in a Twitter post.

The union’s representative council — its legislative and policy-forming body — made its decision Tuesday night, according to the post.

Jara, who has been superintendent since 2018, has had a tumultuous tenure. The union’s resolution comes amid issues in the district such as school violence, large class sizes and a teacher shortage.

CCEA President Marie Neisess said Thursday the action to call for Jara’s resignation has been a long time coming.

She said there have been ups and downs in the district, dysfunctional school board meetings and “a lot of missteps.”

Jara has frequently told people to judge him on his record, Neisess said.

“His record is clear that we’re not moving the needle in the Clark County School District for our students,” she said. “It’s definitely time for new leadership.”

Jara said in a Thursday statement that the union continues its “bad faith negotiating tactics.”

“The Board of Trustees and I will continue united to responsibly steward the public money with which we are entrusted and not be deterred in our duty to taxpayers or our employees,” he said.

Nearly all of the district’s more than 360 schools have a member on the union’s representative council, Neisess said.

She said she didn’t have an exact tally of how many people voted Tuesday on the resolution during a hybrid meeting — with in-person and virtual participation — but noted it was well attended.

Neisess said she feels that when Jara’s time is up as superintendent, he’ll leave the district worse than when he arrived.

She also cited the “no confidence” survey results from union members and results of a poll of community members.

Last month, the union released results of a survey showing 75 percent of more than 5,500 teacher respondents don’t have confidence in Jara to decide how to spend additional proposed state education money.

And a poll conducted earlier this month by David Binder Research on behalf of the union showed 51 percent of the 600 people surveyed view Jara unfavorably.

Jara was fired in a 4-3 vote by the School Board in October 2021, but trustees reversed their decision the following month and allowed him to remain on the job.

Then, a divided board voted in October 2022 to extend Jara’s contract through June 2026 and give him a pay raise.

Jara also confirmed earlier this month that he had been eyeing a superintendent position in Broward County Public Schools in Fort Lauderdale.

But in a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Jara said that while he was urged to apply, he had decided to remain in Clark County.

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2921. Follow @julieswootton on Twitter.

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