March 26, 2019
26 Mar 2019

Political Update – March 26, 2019


CCSD using taxpayer resources to promote teachers union’s agenda 

Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal

March 21, 2019

The Clark County School District has been using taxpayer resources to advance the political agenda of the teachers union.

The Clark County Education Association wants additional education funding. It has launched an online petition to pressure politicians in Carson City. That’s normal, even if there’s a decades-long record of more funding not increasing student achievement.

What shouldn’t be normal is the district promoting that effort. Yet, on at least two occasions, the district has done exactly that.

On Dec. 6, Kelly Carque, the assistant principal at Palo Verde High School, sent an email to every parent at the school. “If you would like to support efforts to provide additional funding to our schools, please visit the following website,” her email read. The website was CCEA’s petition for more funding.

Carque even attached CCEA’s talking points and demands. The district provided Carque’s email in response to a public records request.

Ironically, the district spent years in court arguing that the work emails of teachers weren’t public information. Yet, an assistant principal is able to spam the private emails of parents to push the district’s preferred political agenda.

This wasn’t a one-off event either. On Tuesday, Culley Elementary School had the union’s propaganda on its website. It linked to the union’s petition and told parents to RSVP for an upcoming union rally.

After I asked about it, the graphic promoting the union’s political advocacy disappeared.

“This content has been removed from the website,” Kirsten Searer, the district’s chief communications officer, emailed.

She refused to say how many district schools are using district resources to advertise for the union’s cause. She also declined to share whether the district plans to take any action to stop such behavior.

This is another instance in the district’s long pattern of leveraging its taxpayer resources to advocate for more funding.

In 2012, the school district wanted voters to approve a tax hike for school construction. Every School Board member had district employees send emails encouraging parents to support the measure. District lobbyist Joyce Haldeman authorized school district employees to pick up campaign literature. The toothless Nevada Commission on Ethics found they each committed violations, but the panel barely slapped their hands.


Quote of
the week



“Through ethical means or not, the school district usually has been successful in increasing funding. If only it was as successful in increasing student achievement.”

Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal
March 21, 2019

Teachers union pushes dedicated funding source for salaries

April Corbin
Nevada Current

March 25, 2019

When Gov. Steve Sisolak promised educators a 3 percent raise during his state-of-the-state speech, some teachers couldn’t help but wonder: Would that money ever reach their paychecks? Or would the money be diverted elsewhere?

It’s happened before.

Teachers within Clark County School District are supposed to be able to look toward the salary schedule negotiated by their collective bargaining agent, Clark County Education Association. It lays out salary increases based off length of employment (“steps”) and levels of professional development (“columns”). Step increases equate to about a 2 percent raise. Column advancement results in larger raises but requires significantly more work, typically in the form of advanced degrees or professional development courses.

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