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July 31, 2014

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Sandoval breaks logjam between CCSD, teachers on $40 million grant application

Brian Sandoval

Brian Sandoval

The Clark County School District’s efforts to compete for $40 million in federal Race to the Top funds won’t be derailed by its teachers union, after all.

Gov. Brian Sandoval announced this morning that the district’s grant application would move forward with the support of the Clark County Education Association.

“I was informed this morning that the Clark County School District and the Clark County Education Association have signed the Race to the Top letter,” Sandoval said in a news release issued by his office. “I am pleased that by working together, leaders of education in Clark County were able to agree to get this done for our children. I look forward to continuing to work with all parties to improve education in our state.”

The federal grant requires — among other conditions — that school districts receive support from the local teachers union. Applications may still be submitted without a union signature, but their chances of winning grant money is hurt.

In a letter last week, the Clark County Education Association, which is embroiled in a contract dispute with the district, informed Deputy Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky that the union would not be signing off on the grant application.

However, Sandoval this week inserted himself into the fray, coming to Las Vegas on Thursday to urge the two sides to resolve their differences so that the district could meet a Friday deadline to apply for the grant.

“The District is pleased that this issue has been resolved and that we were able to move forward today with our application for the Race to the Top grant,” Clark County School District Superintendent Dwight Jones said, according to Sandoval’s office. “If awarded to the Clark County School District, this grant will provide individualized instruction that will drastically improve the educational experience for our students. The District welcomed suggestions from the Clark County Education Association regarding the application and remains committed to competing for these much-needed funds to help increase achievement for our children. Thank you to Governor Sandoval for brokering this agreement.””

Said Ruben Murillo, the teachers union president, “CCEA is pleased to join Governor Sandoval and the school district in the application for the Race to the Top funds. Teachers look forward to a successful partnership in ensuring our students’ needs are met.”

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  1. What will this governor do next? Cure scrofula?

  2. Just another example of the union trying to hurt education. Guess they got caught this time and gave in.

  3. Good job by the union and the Governor.

  4. http://ccea-nv.org/index.php/teachers-to...

    surely even the folks who blame unions for everything cannot object to what the teachers won here: RFP's instead of crony vendors getting to divert the money away from the classroom with no transparent process of selection; teachers (not school board appointees) get to have oversight. Jones should have made a real attempt to negotiate, instead of trying to make them blink by going to the press. Now Sandoval gets credit, and Jones appears to be the totally inadequate leadership that he is.

  5. Let Ruben and the pretenders keep on pretending. Or, are teachers to be treated as special while the rest of our society moves into bankruptcy? CUT teacher compensation. They can pay AT LEAST HALF of their PERS retirement contributions. They can pay more than a token percentage of their health care premiums. They can do without step increases for a few more years OR take an immediate cut in pay.

  6. mermelees: Teachers SHOULD NOT have oversight on anything relevant to K-12. They have jobs to do so get into the class rooms and teach the basics. We have plenty of administrators and union interference to do all the oversight the taxpayers do NOT want.

  7. In theory, this all sounds great. We'll see how it's carried out. If this works out well for everyone, I don't think it's good for Jones. If it just adds more bureaucracy without having a positive impact on performance, then I think the other two parties failed.

    Just my initial reaction. We'll see how it all plays out.

  8. Hmm A Republican working with Democrat union. And got the deal done.
    Wonder if this would work on a higher level?

  9. Governor Brian Sandoval just scored another point. He was able to look at the WHOLE picture and make a good call. Just as he did at the last Nevada State Legislative Session, when Lawmakers voted to stick a billion dollar plus liability for power transmission lines to the taxpayers, without input from the taxpayers, at the midnight hour before the session ended.

    Other than following the news, how many Commenters here are involved with crafting educational laws, or the implementation of them? Even going to informational meetings? Many comments appear to based on emotional speculation and gut reaction rather than being based on facts. Some are pretty clueless as to how important it is for instructional materials to "fit" the individual or collective needs of students in a real life classroom.

    As Commenter Mermelees pointed out,
    "http://ccea-nv.org/index.php/teachers-to...

    surely even the folks who blame unions for everything cannot object to what the teachers won here: RFP's instead of crony vendors getting to divert the money away from the classroom with no transparent process of selection; teachers (not school board appointees) get to have oversight."

    Currently, to implement educational reforms/laws created at the last Nevada State Legislative Session, a new evaluation form/process for both PRINCIPAL ADMINISTRATORS AND TEACHERS is being crafted. It MUST have input from all stakeholders, especially for it to really work. People have to take or set aside time from their busy lives to participate in the input process and crafting of such an important evaluation that will impact not only the lives of administrators and teachers, but the lives of students and their families.

    So get involved! You all have an opportunity to really make a difference in the Nevada educational system this time, really. Don't let your ideas and thoughts lay waste here and have zero affect on this monumental reform. Rather doing nothing more than complaining, go get yourself into the action, and bring YOUR vision into this process!

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  10. The content below is from the CCEA website and shows what was changed.

    "Revisions made to the grant application include:

    TEACHERS WILL HAVE A STRONG VOICE -- The creation of an oversight structure at the district level, as well as the 63 schools, where teachers will have authority and a strong voice in the implementation process.

    ENSURING THE BEST RETURN OF INVESTMENT -- The replacement of pre-named vendors, scripted curriculum, and software for a Request for Proposal (RFP) process that ensures a selection of resources and programs that best meet the needs of students."

    -Clark County Education Association- (CCEA) http://ccea-nv.org/index.php/teachers-to...

  11. For those who continue to complain, get out and be a part of the change! Be involved in this game-changer that must go into action a year from now!

    As RoselitaM makes the analogy, "...As far as your idea that teachers should be sued for malpractice when a student fails a test, let me suggest a similar situation. Patient A visits a doctor, is given a diagnosis, followed by a treatment plan. Patient A is told by the doctor that if the treatment plan is not followed, the patient will not likely survive. Patient A then does not return to the doctor for several days, at which time the patient is asked if the treatment plan is being followed, to which the patient responds that it is not. Doctor repeats that the patient must follow the treatment plan or risk the consequences. Several phone calls are placed to the patient and family stating the importance of following the treatment plan. A conference is held with patient, family, and other members of the treatment team, but to no avail. Unfortunately, Patient A does not follow the treatment plan and, consequently, dies. Malpractice????" Great analogy here, as students and their families DO have choices. The outcome is ultimately up to the decision(s) made by the student and their family.

    REALITY: Teachers are TOLD what to do at their schools. They are REQUIRED to carry out what their school district, site administrator/principal, and state laws tell them. This includes what is being TAUGHT in their classrooms, and how/when to enforce behavioral rules. If readers here aren't liking what has been going on, then get involved with your neighborhood school, the local school board meetings, and lawmakers. Be an active part of crafting the new and up-coming evaluations.

    Challenge: Get involved! You all have an opportunity to really make a difference in the Nevada educational system this time, really. Don't let your ideas and thoughts lay waste here and have zero affect on this monumental reform. Rather doing nothing more than complaining, go get yourself into the action, and bring YOUR vision into this process!

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star