Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara provided an update to the Clark County School District (CCSD) Board of School Trustees regarding the District’s budget for the upcoming 2019-20 and 2020-21 fiscal years, and impact to school safety and academic programs.

While CCSD appreciates the additional funding allocated in the 2019 Legislative session to provide employees with a seniority increase and a 3 percent salary increase, it was not enough to cover the increased operational costs CCSD has sustained.

Jara went over budget reductions he has already made to central services totaling $4.6 million for the 2019-20 fiscal year. Additionally, he has identified $7.5 million in reductions in central services for the 2020-21 school year.

He also discussed other potential cuts that were considered but would have had a more significant impact on students, and would have potentially required a reduction in force.

He then discussed the Focus: 2024 strategic plan and the district’s intent to rethink student discipline given the disproportionate suspensions of Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino students. He also pointed to the disproportionate percentage of students of color who are chronically absent from school.
Eliminating the dean positions, although difficult, allows schools to rethink their discipline based on the needs of their unique community. Jara pointed out the new resources that schools will have to support student safety including:

– Additional K-9 firearm detection officers
– Additional officers at high school and career and technical academies
– Student success project facilitators and coordinators
– New funding from the legislature for additional mental health professionals and facility upgrades.

“Our core focus is student success,” Jara said. “Our schools now have more options on how to keep students in school so they can learn in their own unique way and receive a rich and rigorous education.”

Board Agenda Item 3.07 – Agreement to promote increased participation for student’s free application for federal aid

Trustees approved a Memorandum of Agreement with the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) to share information that would allow for increased participation in the Student’s Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA).

Under the agreement, CCSD will share with NSHE student names, dates of birth, zip codes, and high schools. In return, NSHE will provide information on whether each student submitted a FAFSA, and whether the form was eventually completed. The agreement allows for data sharing between CCSD and NSHE when it comes to students completing their FAFSA and offering assistance to students in the process.

“This agreement will allow our high school principals and counselors to be more targeted in their efforts to encourage students to fill out the FAFSA,” said CCSD Chief College, Career and Equity Officer Dr. Mike Barton. “Being able to track who has and has not completed the applications will allow administrators to better assist students in securing millions of dollars in additional college grants and possible free money for college.”

To view the documents related to this item, click here.

Board Agenda Item 5.05 and 5.06 – Employment Agreements of Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff

Trustees approved the hiring of Michael Casey as Chief Operating Officer and Christopher Bernier, Ed. D as Chief of Staff.

Casey most recently served as Vice President of Finance at Bellagio for nearly six years. Under this role, Casey will manage and supervise the functions in the
divisions/departments of Food Service, Purchasing and Warehousing, Technology and Information Systems Services, Transportation, and Vegas PBS.

Dr. Bernier is a current Associate Superintendent for School Choice and an executive cabinet member of Orange County Public Schools in Florida. He will
oversee Employee-Management Relations, Internal Audit, Diversity, and Affirmative Action, and assist the superintendent with major projects and personnel decisions.

These are both replacement positions and will have no impact on the budget.