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Roberson bill calls for majority of CCSD trustees to be appointed

Updated March 7, 2017 - 5:59 pm

A majority of school board trustees in Clark and Washoe counties would be appointed instead of elected under a proposal rolled out Tuesday in the state Senate.

Districts with more than 75,000 students — which only applies to Clark County — would have three members elected countywide. One member would be appointed by the county commission. The other three members would be appointed by the three most populous cities in the county — in Clark County’s case, Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas.

Sens. Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, and Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, are sponsoring Senate Bill 243. Roberson and Kieckhefer could not immediately be reached for comment. The bill was referred to the Senate education committee, but had not been scheduled for a hearing as of Tuesday afternoon.

Roberson and trustees have clashed repeatedly over the state-mandated reorganization of the Clark County School District. Roberson was a driving force supporting the measure, which decentralizes power at the administrative level of the district and allows individual campuses to have more decision-making authority.

This next step, Trustee Kevin Child said, infringes upon citizens’ right to choose their representatives.

“We should keep it as government of the people, for the people. Now you’re taking the government out of the hands of the people,” he said. “Government wasn’t designed to be an appointment.”

Trustee Erin Cranor took a similar stance. “My position is really to protect the sanctity of elected boards,” she said. “The most democratic way to represent people is to represent the voters directly.”

The make-up would be slightly different for Washoe — which is the only district to have more than 25,000 students but fewer than 75,000.

Again, three members would be elected countywide. One member would be appointed by the governor. One member would be appointed by the county commission. The final two members would be appointed by the two most populous cities in the county.

Contact Meghin Delaney at 702-383-0281 or mdelaney@reviewjournal.com. Follow @MeghinDelaney on Twitter.

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