Las Vegas Sun

September 16, 2014

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Clark County educators to take first step toward charter schools

Trustees must decide whether to ask the Nevada Department of Education for permission to develop such alternative schools in the county, a formality that paves the way for parent groups to apply for school charters.

Charter schools are part of a national education reform movement. They amount to agreements between a group of citizens and a local school board to form a public school free of many district and state regulations. The goal is to allow for innovative teaching methods that could improve student performance.

Earlier this year the Nevada Legislature passed a bill which allows school districts to establish charter schools on a limited basis. Among the limits, counties are only permitted to have a maximum of four but may have more if they are charter schools devoted to at-risk populations.

Education officials say that putting the issue before the school board so soon after the Legislature's July vote proves the district's commitment to encourage successful charter plans.

With board approval, the district also would advertise in the local media the availability of charter applications. Those applications are being written now by state education officials and may be available as early as next week.

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