Clark County School District

Clark County (Nevada) board approves superintendent's departure

Feb. 23, 2024
Jesus Jara has led the 300,000-student district since 2018

The Clark County (Nevada) School Board voted 5-2 to approve the resignation of Superintendent Jesus Jara.

The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that Jara, who has led the district--the nation's fifth-largest--since 2018, announced in late January that he planned to leave. His last day on the job will be Friday.

Board members also voted 5-2 to name Deputy Superintendent Brenda Larsen-Mitchell as interim superintndent. She has served in the district for 30 years.

Jara will receive a $250,000 severance.

Speakers — consisting mostly of educators — opposed providing Jara with a severance.

“Allowing him to resign and giving him a quarter-million dollar is not an acceptable outcome for this meeting,” said educator Robert Cowles.

The teachers union, the Clark County Education Association, expressed its displeasure about the appointment of Larsen-Mitchell, whom it labeled as Jara's “hand-picked replacement.”

“This is the continuation of a failed legacy administration,” the teachers union wrote.

Public discussion about finding Jara’s replacement is set to continue at a board meeting next month.

Hiring a firm to recruit nationally could cost the district up to $100,000 and last between three and six months, according to a presentation to the board.

During his tenure, Jara has faced criticism related to topics such as his handling of teacher contract negotiations and the Covid-19 pandemic, lagging student achievement, a teacher shortage and erroneous statements made to state legislators.

In fall 2021, a divided board voted to terminate Jara’s contract but then reversed course the following month.

Public pressure for Jara to step down has increased, including calls for his resignation beginning last year from the teachers union and top Democratic state lawmakers.


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