In Nevada, a campaign supporting an initiative that would allow municipalities to opt-out of county school districts filed about 220,000 signatures to counties for verification.
The Community Schools Initiative PAC filed the initiative, and the signatures submitted will have to be verified by county clerks. The initiative needs 140,777 valid signatures to proceed to the state legislature. If the legislature approves the initiative, and the governor signs it into law, the initiative is enacted. If this does not happen, the initiative will go before Nevada voters at the 2024 general election.
The Community Schools Initiative PAC stated, “Nevada school districts are some of the largest in size, too bureaucratic, and unresponsive. It’s time to return our public schools back to the community and give students the education they deserve.”
If enacted, the initiative would amend state statute to allow municipalities to opt-out of a county school district to create a new community school district, which the Community Schools Initiative campaign says may better serve students.
“Individual municipalities or municipalities working together may, in some instances, prefer to form more appropriately-sized school districts, because communities may determine that they can better represent and serve children, parents, and families in smaller administrative units,” the initiative reads.
Jess Jara, the superintendent of the Clark County School District, which serves 300,000 students, says that the initiative may not address the needs of students.
“If anything is to change, Nevada must provide more funding and academic rigor to improve educational outcomes,” said Jara, “Educating our students adequately requires an honest, reasoned, equitable, accountable, and sustainable strategy supported with optimal funding for the new pupil-centered funding formula to produce outcomes other than Nevada’s current 49th in the nation funding levels. This initiative achieves none of these.”
Nevada counties have until December 23 to certify the submitted signatures. If the initiative has at least 140,777 verified signatures, it will go to the Nevada State Legislature in 2023. If no action is taken in 40 days, the initiative will be put on the 2024 ballot.