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What happens in Vegas: Governor signs law to split up Clark County school district

What happens in Vegas: Governor signs law to split up Clark County school district

Legislation calls for 320,000-student countywide system to be divided into an undetermined number of smaller units.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has signed legislation requiring the massive Clark County district to be split into smaller units within the next three years.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the law calls for a committee to come up a plan to break up the 320,000-student district into an unspecified number of local precincts by the 2018-19 school year.

The proposal became law despite concerns that a breakup of the district, the nation's fifth-largest, will hinder its ability to issue debt for badly needed school construction.

Lawmakers rushed the bill through the legislature in the final moments of the session. Opponents of the district breakup complained that they were prevented from raising concerns about which neighborhoods would get new schools, how they would be paid for, whether the reorganization would carve minority and low-income students out of high-performing campuses and what would happen to teacher salaries, student performance, magnet programs, federal grants and more.

The legislation calls for appointment of a nine-member committee to weigh the impact of a breakup on central office functions, curriculum, employee unions, financial equity, real estate and other issues.

Assemblyman David Gardner, main sponsor of the law, says he is confident the committee will address those issues and head off any legal challenges before presenting a reorganization plan next year.

"A lot of people have the feeling that Clark County is just too big,” says Gardner.

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