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CCSD trustees signal willingness to collaborate during meeting with reorganization council

Updated May 10, 2017 - 9:57 pm

Days after Gov. Brian Sandoval signed a new law ensuring the Clark County School District’s reorganization, tensions over the effort appear to be on the mend.

School Board trustees Wednesday told the Community Implementation Council — tasked with overseeing the reorganization — that they want to collaborate.

The move possibly signifies a final step toward cooperation.

“We all want the best for our kids, and we all want the best for the 40,000-plus employees of the Clark County School District,” board President Deanna Wright said at the meeting.

But trustees continued to voice concerns, including the need for a human capital management system and a weighted funding formula — both of which require funding from the state Legislature. The district has requested $17 million for the management system.

Trustees also are concerned about the requirement to include municipalities’ input when choosing any of the 16 school associate superintendents who manage the district’s different performance zones.

“On the Board of Trustees, we have two employees: the superintendent and official board counsel,” Wright said. “We have no input over the appointment of other staff, but this law says cities have input over our associate superintendent hires.”

Tom Skancke, whose TSC2 Group has been the consultant for the effort, outlined three major barriers to the reorganization.

That includes the legal department’s handling of contracts with the district’s five employee groups.

“We have found that the district, as it relates to employee and manager relations, has a poor operating environment that results in turmoil, litigation and a hostile working environment,” Skancke said. “This has recently caused elevated levels of internal disruption within district management.”

The district has spent millions of dollars fighting impasses with bargaining units, he said, noting it had exceeded its legal budget last year.

Unable to receive information on litigation, Skancke said he will be submitting a public records request for the legal department’s bills.

Skancke also highlighted the extra money and time that unfunded mandates, created by the Legislature, have cost the district.

He said his team has found more than a dozen pieces of legislation that call for unfunded mandates.

“Every time a new piece of legislation is passed that charts a new course or direction, the teachers and the district just cannot respond or implement quickly enough until the next session of the Legislature,” Skancke said.

The reorganization, which seeks to empower schools while decentralizing the entire district, faces an August deadline.

Contact Amelia Pak-Harvey at apak-harvey@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4630. Follow @AmeliaPakHarvey on Twitter.

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