By DR. LARRY MOSES
No one asked me but… What began in 2015, as a “break up” of the Clark County School District has become a comedy of errors. It is a legislative “Who’s On First”.
One should have seen the results coming at the very first meeting when it was announced by the Chairman of the Legislative Committee to Reorganize the Clark County School District that there would be no break up of the district. By emphasizing reorganization rather than “break up”, he set the mood of the operation. This was only the beginning of the end for any meaningful change in the operation of the bureaucratic nightmare that is the Clark County School District.
For those who ask for more local control of their schools, all I can say is: If you can find that in the final result of the attempt to reorganize, I am open to have you point it out to me.
I have read and re-read AB 394, the basis for Regulation 142-16, which I too have read and re-read often. It reminds me of the time we lost the State Football championship on a terrible call at Bishop Manogue High School. I replayed it and replayed while my son who is a football coach watched. After I forced him to watch it five or six times he said “Dad, why don’t you play that again? Maybe he will change the call.” It didn’t happen.
No matter how many times you re-read the results of this legislative action, you will not find any local control over CCSD schools.
Actually AB 394 and R 142-16 have become irrelevant. The Clark County School District, while claiming to cooperate with the results of these legislative steps, moved to file a court injunction pointing out that AB 394 was never passed into law. Therefore, the Legislative Committee did not have the authority to approve the regulations. By the time you read this, the 2017 Legislature will have solved this problem by passing AB 469 incorporating R142-16 into NRS 388G.
While this gives legitimacy to the reorganization plan for CCSD, one should not get too excited for a close look will show you that nothing has changed. The power down structure of the district is the same. Those of you who thought it was a good idea that you should have some control over what your child should be taught, where your tax dollar should be spent, who should run your schools and teach your children, are going to be greatly disappointed.
A school board made up of individuals who have no commitment to Moapa Valley; indeed many who would have to GPS our schools to find them; will still dictate all educational policy for the schools of this valley.
Those of you who were holding out hope that the School Organization Teams would have power to make decisions for your school are living in La La Land. The law specifically leaves all responsibility for the decisions made for running your schools in the hands of a School Area Superintendent who lives in Las Vegas. SOTs can only advise the Principal, who has veto power over all decisions. The local principal can present a budget and plan of operation to the School Area Superintendent who has veto power over any decision coming from the principal and his advisory team. Which is exactly what was the case prior to the reorganization of CCSD.
No one asked me but… We are about to become engaged, once again, in the debate over Health Education and what it should look like in the Clark County School District.
A couple of years ago there was a move on the part of the CCSD Board of Trustees to adopted a requirement that all students at the high school level take a Health Education Course for graduation. This was interesting because it has been state law for years that a student graduating from a Nevada school would have one-half credit of Health Course. However, the CCSD had, by policy, for generations allowed students to opt out of the course. Some opted-out for religious reasons, some because parents felt they were better able to teach the issues they felt were controversial, and others because of scheduling issues.
Under pressure from LGBT groups and specific members of the CCSD Board of Trustees, including the Valley’s representative, an attempt was made to force all students into a “health” program that centered on sex education based on a curriculum developed by Planned Parenthood and liberal college professors from both coasts. The Board was met with a great deal of opposition and they postponed the decision on the issue. Let me suggest the District could solve the problem by merely following the Nevada Revised Statutes.
NRS 389.10 Section 3 states: “Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, in addition to core academic subjects, the following subjects must be taught as applicable for grade levels…c. Health”
The State Department of Education has developed a course of study to meet the requirements of this law. However, this does not include much of the instruction demanded by LGBT advocates and this is where another NRS comes into effect.
NRS 389.065 Instruction on acquired immune deficiency syndrome, human reproductive system, related communicable diseases and sexual responsibility. 1. The board of trustees of a school district shall establish a course or unit of a course of: a. Factual instruction concerning acquired immune deficiency syndrome; and b. Instruction on the human reproductive system, related to communicable diseases and responsibility. …Section 4. The parent or guardian… must first be furnished written notice that the course will be offered. The notice… must contain a form for the signature of the parent or guardian… consenting to the pupil’s attendance. Upon receipt of the written consent… the pupil may attend the course. If the written consent of the parent is not received, the pupil must be excused from such attendance without any penalty as to credits or academic standing. Any course offered pursuant to this section is not required for graduation.
I do not believe a student should be forced into a “health” class that they and their family find morally offensive. I further do not believe parents who oppose public school sex education should deny a parent the right to have their child in such a setting if they so desire. When I hit the “easy button” on my desk, the simple solution is to follow the law and offer two health classes. One class with, and one without, the provisions of NRS 389.065.
Thought of the week….Status quo, you know, is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in’.
– Ronald Reagan