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Judge orders Clark County School Board to rescind policy limiting appointed trustees

The policy prevented appointed trustees from making motions, despite a 2023 state law granting them almost all the same rights as elected board members.
Rocio Hernandez
Rocio Hernandez
EducationK-12 Education

A Clark County District Court judge is ordering the Clark County School Board to immediately rescind a governance policy that limited the powers of its four appointed trustees. 

The ruling means the appointed trustees will be allowed to make motions and ask for a previous decision to be reconsidered. 

The new appointed positions were authorized by the Legislature in 2023 through AB175, which allowed local municipalities including the cities of North Las Vegas and Henderson to appoint their own representatives to the board. The law states that these trustees would have the same rights and responsibilities as the seven elected members, but won’t be able to vote in the election of new board officers or serve as a board officer such as president. 

“The purpose of this statute is so the cities could have a seat at the table,” Clark County District Court Judge Nadia Krall said during a Wednesday court hearing on the case. “What the trustees have done is taken the table and put it in a locked room and the cities are knocking at the door and the trustees are not letting them in.”

In a statement Wednesday evening, the district said trustees are "evaluating Judge Krall's order and reviewing their options."

The new trustees officially joined the board in early January. Three weeks later, the board approved a governance policy that stripped the nonvoting trustees’ ability to make motions or ask for a previous decision to be reconsidered within three months of being sworn in. The policy was publicly opposed by the bill’s sponsors, Assemblyman Toby Yurek (R-Henderson) and Assemblywoman Shannon Bilbray-Axelrod (D-Las Vegas), and community groups such as the Vegas Chamber and the Retail Association of Nevada that had supported the bill in the Legislature. 

The cities of Henderson and North Las Vegas filed a lawsuit against the board’s policy in March. They argued the board was “exceeding its authority and violating clear Nevada law by restricting the powers of the nonvoting trustees beyond the limits established in AB175.” 

During a Wednesday hearing in the case, Scott Davis, an attorney representing the Clark County School District’s board of trustees, questioned whether the cities had any standing in the case, arguing that references to education and schools are not mentioned in either city's charter. He argued that any duty, relationship or control the cities have over the nonvoting trustees is finished after they’ve made their appointment. 

Additionally, he said the cities had nothing to gain from the case, only the appointed trustees do. 

But Krall said the board’s policy on nonvoting trustees runs contrary to the language in AB175, which she called “clear and unambiguous.” She said the appointed trustees’ inability to vote for the election of officers doesn’t equal an inability to make motions. 

In addition, she said Robert’s Rules of Order, a standard set of rules to run orderly meetings used by some organizations, and the board’s policy do not supersede Nevada law. 

Krall added that the cities have a vested interest in the education of the students within their municipalities and, as such, the case is a matter of local concern for them. 


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