By DR. LARRY MOSES
No one asked me but… A seat on the Overton Power Board is up for election. It is the “at large” seat presently filled by Judy Metz.
Judy served on the Moapa Valley Town Board for years. The last four years she has represented Mesquite, Logandale, Overton and Moapa on the Overton Power Board.
Judy is a business owner who has an interest in all of these communities. She has served these communities well for the last four years. I will be supporting and encourage others to support Judy Metz for the “at large” seat on the Overton Power Board.
No one asked me but… The Plan to Reorganize the Clark County School District just took another interesting turn. The Legislative Committee to Reorganize CCSD under AB 394, which is now the law of the land, became very expensive as well as interesting.
The Legislative Advisory Committee to Reorganize the CCSD made up of nine legislators has been meeting for over a year now. The Committee is made up of five Republicans and four Democrats. There was also a Technical Advisory Committee established that was made up of nearly twenty individuals from various backgrounds to give advice to the Advisory Committee. TAC met ten or eleven times, I lost count, over the year.
After an earlier nine-hour session, where all the meaningful reorganizational requirements were removed from the purposed regulations, the Legislative Advisory Committee approved the regulations unanimously. The Governor signed them into law. This last week the Advisory Committee met and formed another committee, The Community Implementation Council. When one looks at the makeup of the Community Council one must wonder what community the Advisory Committee had in mind. It certainly is not Mesquite, Boulder City, Laughlin, Sandy Valley, or the Moapa Valley communities.
What one must understand is that the district is not lacking in the ability to reform; it is lacking in the will to do so. Under the regulations approved, there is no real requirement for the district to change. According to Section 14 of the regulations, there are twenty areas that no reform is required. These areas account for over 60 percent of the budget. Keep in mind when the regulations speaks to financial change and the pushing of 80% of the budget to the schools this is 80% of less than 20% of the net budget. This is 80% of the 2.2 billion unrestricted dollars of the General Operating Budget. Even out of those 2.2 billion unrestricted dollars, approximately 440 million dollars will remain in the Central Office.
According to the CCSD Budget Document, the budget for CCSD for the 2016-2017 school year is $5,237,796,765. Yes, that is billions. According to the budget document, there are 310,222 students in CCSD. This means the net per pupil fund for the district is $16,884.
Approximately, 3.2 billion dollars are consideration restricted funds and out of the realm of the reform movement. The district is quick to point out that the 20 departments spending restricted dollars render services to the schools as a whole and individual schools benefit from not having to pay for those.
However, each of these sacrosanct departments could be established by allowing the Central administration to keep 20% of the net budget ($1,047,559,353) to establish the departments and then bill local schools on per pupil basis for services rendered.
With all that being said, probably the most startling revelation last week was the fact that the first act of the Community Implementation Committee was their recommendation to the Advisory Committee to hire TSC2 to oversee the reorganization to the tune of 1.2 million dollars. There seems to be no concern that this contract was awarded without bids. While I am not an attorney, I must wonder if that is legal. Since the district is paying, can they do so without going out to bid? When questioned about this, the Chairman of the Community Implementation Committee stated the time line does not allow for the delay involved and assured the Advisory Committee a search would not find a more qualified group to take on the task. He stated he knew this because he and the CEO of TSC2 worked together at the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance.
The 1.2 million dollars comes at the expense of students in the classroom. One must wonder if it is worth the cost to make sure the district continues to function as it has been functioning. It will be interesting to see how the Board of Trustees responds. Our Board members have no problem attacking parents when they are opposed to Board Decisions. One must wonder if the Board has the courage to take on the State Legislature and refuse to pay the 1.2 million dollars. Keep in mind this expenditure is not one the Board has placed on the backs of the students; this comes directly from the Advisory Committee to Reorganize CCSD. They may fold by saying it is in the law and therefore they must pay the consultant. However, they have not been adverse to ignore state law that requires 5% of their schools to be empowerment schools. They, for years, violated state law by using an “opt out” clause for health and sex education.
I have alluded to the fact that no real change in the power structure is required under AB 394 regulations. Are there any changes demanded? Yes! The sixteen Area Chief Superintendents are now called School Associate Superintendents. School Organizational Teams are now mandated by law. They have no power but they are protected as an advisory board by law. The law does allow for the Superintendent with Board of Trustee approval to allow local schools to make some minor decision about budgeting. The actual discretionary moneys will be less than 10% of the school budget. The Principal, School Associate Superintendent, and the Superintendent have veto power over any decision the School Organization Team may suggest. I am still confused as to why the Board of Trustees is upset about implementing the results of AB 394. The regulations curb none of their power and by getting their backs up, they have brought on this implementation committee. They do not seem to understand they dodged a bullet and are willingly putting themselves back on the firing range.
Thought of the week…“If the problems you have this year are the same problems you had last year, then you are not a leader. You are rather a problem on your own that must be solved.”
― Israelmore Ayivor