Clark County School District drops lawsuit against state

The legal battle over the state-mandated reorganization of the Clark County School District is over, after the district announced Monday it is dropping the lawsuit against the state.

Both parties had agreed to put the lawsuit on hold while a new bill about the reorganization worked its way through the Nevada Legislature. Assembly Bill 469, sponsored by leaders of both parties and both houses, cemented the 2015 plan to decentralize the nation’s fifth-largest school district and push more of the decision-making authority to schools and communities by August.

Gov. Brian Sandoval signed the bill into law last week.

“The passage of AB 469 resolves some of the legal concerns that we had about the reorganization of the Clark County School District,” the trustees said in a statement Monday. “We will continue to work with legislators and the State Board of Education to make any adjustments necessary in the best interests of our students and staff.”

In the lawsuit, Clark County trustees contested the way the original regulation was created. The bill signed last week replaces the 2015 law and the original regulation.

State Superintendent of Instruction Steve Canavero thanked the district for dropping the suit.

“This was the right thing to do after Governor Sandoval signed Assembly Bill 469 that was brought to him by the leadership of both parties in both houses of the legislature,” he said in a statement. “The Nevada Department of Education looks forward to working with the Clark County School District to assist in this effort in every way possible.”

A trailer bill may be following the initial reorganization bill this session and may be able to address some of the trustees’ lingering concerns, including a $17 million request for the Legislature to fund a human resource system and asking the state to pay a $1.2 million fee to consultants on the reorganization.

Another measure, Senate Bill 178, may also help the roll out. Sponsored by Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, the bill would implement a weighted-funding formula in schools. Students in certain categories would be funded at a higher level than traditional students.

The 2015 session introduced a weight for students with disabilities. The 2017 measure would introduce weights for students who are English language learners or who are deemed at-risk. The at-risk category covers students of poverty.

The district must implement a weighted-funding formula as part of the reorganization, and Denis’ bill would cover all districts in the state.

Both the Senate and Assembly education committees will discuss the bill in a joint session on Wednesday, although no action to move the bill forward is expected at that time.

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

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