Clark County schools will have more money in their budgets in 2018-19, after the Board of Trustees approved transferring more responsibilities — and the funding along with it — to individual campuses Thursday.
The board voted 6 to 1 — with Trustee Chris Garvey the lone “no” vote — to transfer a whole slate of responsibilities to schools Thursday, as a way of coming into compliance with the state-mandated reorganization.
“I think we are moving way too fast,” Garvey said, explaining her vote. “This is the whole enchilada.”
The decentralization is aimed at getting better student results by putting budgeting and decision-making power in the hands of local communities, but has been met with a lot of hesitation from the board since 2015, when the law was first passed.
Part of the law requires that schools control a certain percentage of unrestricted funds in the district. In 2018-19, schools are supposed to have 85 percent of those funds in their budgets, the remaining 15 percent can stay in central services.
The decision may bring the school district into compliance with the law, commonly referred to by the bill number, AB469. The district estimates that the approval Thursday would move 88 percent of the unrestricted funds to school budgets, and keep 12 percent centrally.
In the first year, schools would have to send that money back to the district, and district employees would continue to provide the services through service-level agreements, like contracts. The district said that after that, there’s the potential to allow schools to have more flexibility, a prospect some trustees are not comfortable with yet.
“I don’t know yet what that means for our employees. The floodgates are about to open and swallow some of you whole,” Garvey said.
Responsibilities to be transferred include items such as athletics, assessments, transportation, police services, English language learner services, credit recovery and summer school among other items.
The district plans to create a feedback system for schools during the 2018-19 year. After that, trustees may allow schools to begin looking outside the district for some services, although the board rejected a pilot program in November that would have allowed a small set of schools to consider hiring outside vendors for custodial services.
Here’s the full list of responsibilities transferred to schools by the Board of Trustees on Thursday:
Assessment, athletics, student activities, fine arts, orchestra, summer school, staff development services, education services, attendance enforcement, safe and drug-free schools, legislatively mandated defibrillator and EpiPen services, credit recovery, graduation services, alternative student programs, gifted and talented education, Moapa Valley farm, English language learner school services, English language learner testing, Prime 6 field trips, transportation, vehicle maintenance, landscaping, utilities, technology support, school site administration, trash disposal, extended-day staffing, police services, Partnership Office field trips and University of Family Learning services and staff.