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October 1, 2014

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Committee recommends rezoning more than 2,000 students

A Clark County School Board committee has recommended rezoning more than 2,000 students in the southwest valley.

The issue: The Clark County School District wants to alleviate overcrowding at five southwest Las Vegas Valley elementary schools, which each have more than 1,000 students. Next year, the district is expecting an influx of 800 more students at area schools, putting several more than 150 percent over capacity.

The School District held three public meetings this month to hear parent input on solutions, including three options for rezoning as many as 2,700 students in the southwest valley. If approved, the rezoning would be one of the largest undertaken by the district in several years.

The recommendation: The Attendance Zone Advisory Commission on Tuesday decided to recommend Proposal 3, which would impact the fewest students.

It would move about 2,400 students at the following elementary schools: Batterman, Beatty, Ryan, Cartwright/Gehring, Forbuss, Frias, Hayes, Hill/Wiener Jr., Hummel, Kim, Reedom, Ries, Rogers, Steele, Stuckey, Tanaka and Wright.

The attendance zone commission decided not to rezone about 80 Forbuss students living in the Rhodes Ranch community and about 30 Bendorf students after receiving public input.

Parents also argued Proposal 3 would be safer for students because they wouldn’t be crossing Blue Diamond Road, which has heavy traffic.

If approved by the School Board, the proposal would move 14 to 345 students from crowded schools into schools with more space.

Although no schools would have more than 1,200 students, the proposal would likely push 11 schools over 1,000 students.

What’s next: The School Board will make its final decision during a special meeting on March 6. The board is likely to choose one of the three rezoning options and add portable classrooms to campuses.

Other options previously considered include building portable schools, rezoning the entire district and reverting to an year-round schedule and double sessions.

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  1. This is the best recommendation, considering all the givens. The saying goes that hindsight in 20/20, and had the Clark County Planning Commission utilitized a SUSTAINABILITY means test, to all these massive residential housing developments earlier, we would not be experiencing such issues. Hopefully, these leaders of our community will see the need to apply such a test, and make much better decisions on allowing various kinds of growth in Clark County with using a SUSTAINABLE development means test PRIOR to approving a building permit. There is no doubt, that the quality of life has been adversely impacted in our community by NOT utilizing a SUSTAINABILITY STANDARD before allowing any further building.

    There should be a moratorium on housing tract developments until the WATER resources received by Clark County are SUSTAINABLE. To do otherwise, only speaks of greed and those profiteering on the ignorance of the home buying public. Until we have consistent and reliable water, power, and adequate infrastructure to support more NEW growth, strengthening what remains is absolutely vital, and should be the focus.

    Although rezoning is an unfortunate outcome of UNchecked massive and rapid growth and land development, there are many residents of Clark County who have crossed this same bridge years ago, and also had to make such compromises and sacrifices. This problem is nothing new, and is a sad testament to not learning from the mistakes of the past.

    The best schools have great parent/family involvement. If your school is not great, be the change towards improving it by becoming involved.

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star