LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – The Clark County School Board is taking a step toward finding a superintendent to run the nation’s fifth-largest school district, as they face an onslaught of criticism from the public, accusing them of being disconnected and not transparent.

In a unanimous vote, trustees voted to seek requests for proposals on hiring firms that will gauge community input on replacing Dr. Jesus Jara.

Jara’s last day at CCSD was February 23.

Trustees held a work session Wednesday night at the Greer Education Center, where one of the agenda items was outlining the parameters of a superintendent search.

Before voting, trustees laid bare their opposing views on hiring a superintendent.

“It may be someone right here in our district, our state, or maybe someone else, but we do need to cast a wide net to see who’s out there,” Trustee Linda Cavazos said.

Trustee Lola Brooks advocated for a local search to find the district’s next leader.

“So whichever decision is made, it is unlikely to be unanimous, and a national search with provide amplified opportunity for board dysfunction,” Brooks said.

The majority of public comments on Wednesday agreed on one thing:

“We urge the board to conduct a comprehensive national search for the next superintendent ensuring transparency,” Amber Stidham of the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance said.

The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance, ACLU of Nevada, Vegas Chamber, and Nevada Resort Association were among several groups that penned a letter to trustees urging a nationwide search. They also lobbied for setting a minimum of qualifications for all superintendent candidates.

“Our kids deserve a good school superintendent, they deserve great teachers. And the teachers deserve a great school superintendent,” Vegas Chamber President Mary Beth Sewald said.

The Clark County Education Association rallied outside Wednesday’s meeting.

CCEA Executive Director John Vellardita says the process has to be fair and in full public view.

“No superintendent is going to be successful in this school district unless they build a bridge with these teachers. If there’s no bridge, there’s no relationship. If there’s no relationship, there’s going to be problems all the time,” Vellardita said.

He added, “So how do you build it? I think you start by doing a national search that’s transparent. Go to the community, and get feedback from the community. Listen to these educators.”

According to CCSD Board President Evelyn Garcia Morales, a nationwide search can take up to six months and possibly extend the hiring process into the next school year.



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