Superintendent Jesus Jara should resign or be fired. That’s the belief of Stephen Augspurger, the executive director of the Clark County Association of School Administrators and Profession-technical Employees. Augspurger said Jara has lost the confidence of the district’s principals by not seeking their input on a number of issues, including firing all the deans in the district.
Asked directly if Jara should resign or be fired, Augspurger said, “I think it’s time. Yes, I do.”
Augspurger made the comments while filming Nevada Politics Today. He said from the beginning of Jara’s tenure, the superintendent hasn’t been interested in working with school administrators.
“There wasn’t a partnership,” Augspurger said. “It didn’t seem to matter what the topic was — school safety, legislative issues, budget issues. There was no manifestation of what I would consider to be a partnership. So, when this issue was rolled out on Monday June 10 without one bit of discussion with the public, no discussion with district employees, no public discussion with Trustees, it became pretty clear to us that Superintendent Jara was going to do just what he wanted to do, for whatever reason. That remains to be seen. There was absolutely no partnership.”
It’s unlikely trust can be restored “when you first of all demonstrate that you don’t value the opinion of your principals, you don’t value the opinion of the bargaining group,” Augspurger said.
“When you say to principals, in essence, ‘I don’t care what you think about this. I don’t care what these deans do to provide a help provide a frontline response to school safety issues’ and those types of things, I think he’s made it very clear. He’s not interested in a partnership.”
Augspurger said school administrators have previously “assisted superintendents with filling holes in their budgets” and would have helped Jara if asked.
“In a $2.5 billion budget, there are always options for how that hole can be fixed,” Augspurger said. “Frankly, a $17 million hole this year, and I’m going to say an alleged hole, is less than a half percent of the $2.5 billion budget.
“The Clark County School District doesn’t have a revenue problem. They have a spending problem. I think that’s been demonstrated time and time and time again.
Augspurger also said he’s heard rumblings that Jara is threatening Trustees in a bid not to have them overturn his decision.
“There is a discussion out there, that’s now beginning to circulate,” Augspurger said. “I heard it Friday for the first time. That he’s made it clear to Trustees that his contract would be breached if they took action to overturn this decision and that if his contract is breached he would proceed with legal action against them. That’s been out there since Friday. I’ve not heard him refute it or make any claim to deny it. I’ve heard it from multiple sources.”
The administrators union has filed a lawsuit alleging Jara and the Board of Trustees violated the Open Meeting Law in discussing firing the deans before it happened.
“Every bit of information that we have gleaned has come directly from the Trustees themselves,” Augspurger said. “It was very clear through my conversation with the Trustee that there was a closed session held.”
Board president Lola Brooks has said publicly that there wasn’t a vote on Jara’s plan to eliminate the deans.
“Obviously, there is a different interpretation of what happened in that backroom,” Auspurger said. “That’s why the public’s business should be done in public, so we don’t have these misunderstandings.”