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Who has a voice at school board meetings? A court order changes that

Updated May 29, 2024 - 5:12 pm

A judge has ruled in favor of North Las Vegas and Henderson’s legal challenge to restore power to four nonvoting members on the Clark County School Board.

A petition filed in late March alleged that the School Board is violating Assembly Bill 175, which created four new nonvoting positions on the board made up of representatives appointed by Clark County, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson. The petition sought a court order reversing a School Board policy change that prevented nonvoting members from making motions during board meetings.

Court records show that District Judge Nadia Krall granted the petition during a court hearing on Wednesday.

“We appreciate the court’s time and attention to this matter and are very pleased with the judge’s decision to uphold the clear language and intent of the law,” Henderson Mayor Michelle Romero said in an emailed statement from both cities. “We look forward to restoring the rightful role of the city-appointed trustees, as a voice for the communities they serve to pursue a quality education for all students.”

When asked for comment, the school district said the Board of Trustees is “evaluating Judge Krall’s order and reviewing their options.”

The petition argued that because the School Board is given power by the Legislature, it had no authority to “override or interfere” with Assembly Bill 175.

The bill, which was passed in June 2023, was to ensure that nonvoting members of the board have “the same rights and responsibilities as voting members,” according to the petition.

During the legislative session, the district argued that the bill was a non-evidence-based board structure that put power struggles ahead of children’s needs.

The bill applied to districts with more than 75,000 students, meaning that only Clark County was affected.

In two January School Board meetings when the policy change was discussed, nonvoting members were not given the opportunity to “address their concerns with the Board” or make a motion denying or modifying the amendments, according to the petition.

Groups in support of Assembly Bill 175 have argued that appointed members could bring professionalism to the board, following years of contentious meetings.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240.

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