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Lawmakers dole out extra funds for educator raises, delay decision on Clark County schools

The committee postponed requests from four other districts, including those that didn’t have complete plans for covering support staff and teachers.
Rocio Hernandez
Rocio Hernandez
EducationK-12 Education

The Interim Finance Committee (IFC) on Wednesday held off on hearing a request from the state’s largest school district, Clark County, for $58 million in funding to provide additional raises for its support staff, as the district has yet to reach a contract agreement with its teachers union. 

During the meeting, the Democrat-majority committee — an interim group of lawmakers that makes state spending decisions while the Legislature is out of session — authorized more than $15 million to support pay raises for teachers and support staff at five school districts across the state through a $250 million matching fund created during the 2023 legislative session, but deferred requests from Clark County and three other districts. 

The Education Support Employees Association (ESEA) and Teamsters Local 14, which represent support staff in Clark County, called the committee’s action on the request from the Clark County School District (CCSD) misguided. 

“This action is unjust and support professionals should not be penalized for having negotiated a contract early,” the group said in a statement. “We do not believe that support professionals should be held hostage by other unions actions.”

The committee’s decision to postpone hearing CCSD’s request comes after Nevada Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager (D-Las Vegas) and Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro (D-Las Vegas), who are part of the interim group, have called for Superintendent Jesus Jara’s resignation or termination by his school board. Yeager said during a Nov. 1 interview with The Nevada Independent that his frustration with Jara stemmed in part from the district’s lack of progress on reaching a contract agreement with the Clark County Education Association (CCEA), the district’s teachers union.

CCEA Executive Director John Vellardita did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday on whether the union had lobbied the committee to not consider CCSD’s funding request. 

The district also called the decision "unconscionable." CCSD and the committee chair pointed to different parts of the legislative guidance on the SB231 funds to back up their positions.

The five districts that will start receiving their share of SB231 funds (which are earmarked for raises) are Carson City, Douglas, Eureka, Nye and White Pine counties. 

Approval comes about two months after the committee approved $2.6 million for raises for staff at the Humboldt County School District. 

CCSD had planned to request $58 million from the fund, a portion of its maximum allocation amount, which it expected to use to give 4.2 percent raises to support staff represented by the ESEA and the Teamsters, including bus drivers, custodians and office staff. The request represents about 33 percent of the total funding from SB231 ($174 million) set aside for the district.

The SB231-funded raises for support staff would have been in addition to the 10.65 percent pay raise and other compensation increases over the next two years the district had previously agreed to under a new contract with ESEA and Teamsters Local 14. 

But committee chair and Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno (D-North Las Vegas) deferred on listening to CCSD’s request. She said the school districts were expected to turn in a plan for budget increases to provide salaries for teachers and education support professionals, but CCSD’s request was incomplete. 

Guidance from the Legislative Counsel Bureau (LCB) sent to the school districts in August states a school district may seek an allocation from the IFC once it is able to submit sufficient documentation showing that it has budgeted for an increase to the salaries of teachers and education support professionals over the two-year budget cycle provided from sources other than the appropriation made via SB231. 

This documentation can include an approved collective bargaining agreement, a copy of the school district’s amended final budget or any other documentation that sufficiently indicates how the school district will increase the salaries of teachers and education support professionals.

Materials from CCSD’s plan outlined SB231-funded raises for support staff, but not for teachers. This is likely because the district remains under contract negotiations with its teachers union. In September, CCSD declared an impasse, triggering the start of an arbitration process. 

Monroe-Moreno added that she was told yesterday that Clark County Superintendent Jesus Jara wouldn’t be attending the Wednesday meeting.

“We are going to defer this until we have a complete plan brought before this body,” she said. 

The postponement came after several CCSD support staff members urged lawmakers to approve CCSD’s request in order to provide them with additional raises as soon as possible. Many said current salaries weren’t enough to keep up with the rising cost of living. 

CCSD has previously indicated it plans to use 66 percent of its SB231 funds for licensed educators’ salaries. 

In a statement following the meeting, the district called the committee’s decision to defer its request “unfounded” and “unconscionable” and argued its application was complete and included all the documents required. The district cited a separate section of LCB’s guidance that states “school districts may reach an agreement with their various collective bargaining units at various times throughout the 2023-25 biennium” and “may submit multiple requests for S.B. 231 funding.”

The committee also placed Lander County School District’s request on hold for reasons similar to CCSD. The district’s request had only asked for funding to provide additional raises for its certified teachers. The school district remains under contract negotiations with its classified staff. 

“So to be consistent with what we did with Clark County, we will defer Lander County to a future IFC meeting once they have all of that completed,” Monroe-Moreno said. 

The committee also voted to defer its decision on Lyon County School District’s request for $6.2 million after lawmakers disagreed on whether these dollars would be used to support ongoing raises or a one-time bonus, and whether the plan was approved by the district’s bargaining units. 

The Churchill County School District was also expected to make its request at the Tuesday meeting, but it was rescheduled to the committee’s next meeting in February after Monroe-Moreno indicated district officials would be arriving late. 


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