Las Vegas Sun

September 18, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

School District’s priorities backward

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The Sun’s story on girls’ flag football made me wonder about Clark County School District priorities. While the School District is spending $225,000 on this sport to meet Title IX requirements, which could have been accomplished by eliminating a boys’ sport, its “energy conservation team” is going around to schools removing light bulbs from libraries and classrooms, which, in some cases, makes it difficult to read. Only in Clark County!

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  1. Pure insanity. It's not what you spend, it's how you spend it. It's not how much you have, it's how much you spend. Simple life lessons in budgeting. Whether you, your family, your town, city, county, state, government or school. It's all the same. Get it right and you're good. Get it wrong, and you go over the cliff.

    CarmineD

  2. First, budget cuts hit the CCSD Maintenance and Operations Department deeply. So we have a few amazing individuals servicing over 300 schools here in Clark County. On their priority list, is replacing the old fashioned, less energy efficient florescent light fixtures with energy smart and brighter bulbs. Many times, these are on order, as schools wait. Plenty of teachers have had to wait in semi-darkness, including myself, for the installation of these new energy smart fixtures.

    Somewhere along the data driven line and economic crisis, we have lost the balance in education: caring for our students' body, mind, soul, and spirit. Sure, we have opt-in programs as the "Be Kind" with the Josh Stevens program, and the UNLV Fitness Challenge partnership throughout the district. But where do educators find the TIME?

    Many elementary schools have just been teaching Reading, Mathematics, and students have their Specials: Library, P.E., Music, and Art. Recesses are cut to 10 minutes for the entire day. Try keeping the attention of the many students who need to burn off that youthful energy (or some with ADHD/ADD). Many PTA programs are on "Life Support" due to few parents involved with their child's school, or administrative decisions otherwise. We need balance in our lives to be the best whole functional persons we can be. Quality relationships are made in person, not over the phone or online (those might be avenues to try and maintain them).

    Commenter CarmineD has it right about budgeting, righty allocating and utilizing the resources we are given. We need to both pray for and communicate to those who are making such vital decisions in our district, as our future, our children in school, are greatly impacted.

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  3. You need athletics and especially the arts as any part of curriculum.
    Never heard of a class called library Star, maybe I'm just old but library? That sounds like study hall to me.
    Music is an art.

  4. To Commenter Chuck333: Here in Clark County and elsewhere in public education these days (certainly NOT when I was growing up a half century ago!), elementary school students have a "Specials" time each day, nearly an hour scheduled each school day, for graded classes as Music, Art, Physical Education, and yes, LIBRARY! When I first licensed as a teacher in California, we were credentialed to teach all those in a self-contained classroom. Regular education teachers had to be competent and able to teach these. Today, new teachers, here in Nevada, are not required to do the work of "Specialists," they qualify with the basics.

    When I first taught in Nevada, back in 2003, Specials were NOT graded. Today, with our world of accountability, they ARE graded, and these grades show up on student's report cards each grading period. Just so you and readers know, the Library Special is no study hall. These students work hard learning how to conduct a research, select books to read for both pleasure and schoolwork, and they learn to use other medias and genres in the Library.

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  5. Has it occured to anyone that perhaps our school system that ranks at the very bottom of all 50 states for higher education,that maybe we are doing something wrong?

    This low ranking(higher education) is not just a one year thing.This has gone on for a long period of time.If we don't try and fix the problems in our school system, expect more of the same.Our priorties seem to be in the wrong places.