Assembly speaker calls on CCSD superintendent to resign, supe says he will stay

By: - November 1, 2023 11:55 am

CCSD Superintendent Jesus Jara during a visit to Rundle Elementary School in September 2023. (Photo Courtesy: CCSD)

Speaker Steve Yeager is calling on Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara to resign, the Assembly Democratic Caucus announced Wednesday.

CCSD in a statement quickly responded that “Dr. Jara will remain in his position as superintendent as long as the Board of Trustees desires him to do so.”

The Assembly Democratic Caucus in their statement announcing the call for resignation accused Jara of having no plans to improve education, teacher recruitment and retention, and morale within the fifth largest school district in the nation. In a press release, the caucus said the superintendent “spoke in platitudes while denying accountability” when addressing the Legislature earlier this year, and that he has squandered the opportunities provided to him through the record levels of funding they provided.

Among the legislation passed during this year’s regular session was a $250 million matching fund designed to provide raises to teachers. That fund has become a major point of contention between CCSD and the Clark County Education Association, which represents the district’s 18,000 licensed teachers. CCEA contends the money should be used to permanently raise base salaries for educators, while CCSD argues the money should be used for temporary raises that sunset at the end of the current biennium.

CCSD in mid-September declared contract negotiations to be at an impasse, setting the parties on a path toward binding arbitration, a process that could take upwards of a year.

“Unfortunately, community leaders, parents, teachers, and students no longer trust that Dr. Jara’s leadership can get CCSD back on track,” said Yeager in a provided quote. “Proponents of privatizing education through voucher schemes have already given up on our public schools, but we must not give up and we must not accept the status quo as acceptable.  Instead, we must fight for our students, who are the future of this great state. They deserve our best efforts. This moment in time cries out for a change in leadership to restore trust in CCSD and bring new and fresh ideas to public education in Southern Nevada. Nevadans deserve nothing less and should settle for nothing less.”

CCSD in its statement shot back at Yeager, saying the leader “has his hands full trying to keep his house in order” — an apparent reference to recent media reports criticizing votes cast by Democratic lawmakers on a pair of bills that provided millions to nonprofits. Several lawmakers had ties to the nonprofits and not all were disclosed.

“Distracting from those issues by meddling in the affairs of the district will not change the choices made by him and his members to improperly direct funds by members with conflicts,” the district’s statement continued.

The Legislature cannot remove Jara directly. That power rests with the CCSD Board of Trustees, who in 2021 voted to fire Jara only to rehire him mere weeks later, and who last year extended his contract through June 2026.

All three of those votes were split decisions, 4-3.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

April Corbin Girnus
April Corbin Girnus

April Corbin Girnus is an award-winning journalist with a decade of media experience. A stickler about municipal boundary lines, April enjoys teaching people about unincorporated Clark County. She grew up in Sunrise Manor and currently resides in Paradise with her husband, three children and one mutt.