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Petition drive could lead to breakup of Clark County (Nev.) district

Dec. 1, 2022
The Las Vegas area school system enrolls about 315,000 students and is the nation's fifth largest public district.

An initiative campaign that could break up the nation's fifth largest school district says it has collected enough signatures to send the issue to Nevada lawmakers next year.

The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that the initiative could result in breaking up the 315,000-student Clark County district, which serves the Las Vegas area, into smaller school systems.

The Community Schools Initiative is a ballot initiative that will allow local governing bodies across Nevada to opt out of their county school districts and instead create their own. Supporters of the effort say they have turned in more than 220,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot, well above the 140,777 signatures needed.

If the initiative is deemed to have enough valid signatures, the Nevada Legislature could also pass it during its upcoming legislative session — which kicks off on Feb. 6 — or it would go to voters to decide its fate during the 2024 election.

Clark County School Superintendent Jesus Jara denounced the initiative as an “adult-centered distraction” to educating students.

“Dismantling the economies of scale achieved by [Clark County Schools] will raise the costs of educating all children and further exacerbate the inequities impacting our neediest children and violate their rights,” he said.

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