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Petition to break up Clark County School District does not qualify for 2024 ballot

Rocio Hernandez
Rocio Hernandez
EducationK-12 Education

A proposal that would have allowed municipalities to opt out of their local school district and form their own has failed to qualify for the 2024 ballot. 

The Community Schools Initiative needed at least 140,477 valid signatures divided amongst Nevada’s four congressional districts to qualify. After getting certification, the statutory initiative would have been taken up for consideration by the 2023 Legislature and, if no action was taken within 40 days, it would have headed to the 2024 general election ballot.

Last month, the group behind the petition submitted more than 230,000 signatures, but a spokesperson said they weren’t able to get at least 35,195 signatures in all four congressional districts, a requirement for certification. 

Dan Stewart, the initiative’s chairman and a Henderson city councilman, said he’s not deterred by the setback.  

“We have brought awareness to the need to create school districts that are more responsive to the communities they serve, while equitably bringing funding and decision making closer to our students and teachers,” he said. “We will continue to build our coalition and enhance our advocacy efforts with an eye towards refiling the initiative in 2024.”

The proposal was the latest effort to try to break up the Clark County School District, which critics say has grown too large and is failing to meet the needs of its 300,000 students. It had the support of various business groups. 

But opponents say breaking up the school district could result in new inequities, particularly for students of color and students from low-income households. 

Despite not qualifying for the ballot, Stewart said the group plans to remain active during the 2023 legislative session.


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