School district wants Legislature to listen to local school boards |

School district wants Legislature to listen to local school boards

by Merrie Leininger

The Douglas County School District thinks it knows best about the community’s needs.

The board of trustees passed a resolution last month that asked the Nevada Legislature to take local districts into account when passing education legislation.

Superintendent Pendery Clark said the resolution came about from the 1997 legislative session in which 59 education bills were passed.

“There wasn’t a lot of opportunity for public discussion,” she said.

SB482, the Nevada Education Reform Act, was the combination of two bill drafts, one proposed that year by Gov. Robert Miller and a proposal from Sen. William Raggio, R-Reno.

“Many districts didn’t even know it had passed,” Clark said. “All 17 school districts have spent a lot of time trying to get caught up on the new legislation this year.”

The act had “massive impact” on local districts, Clark said. The act set up a standards council, testing requirements, commissions and committees, the bureau of accountability and provided money for technology.

Clark said board’s resolution asked the legislators to allow the districts a voice in the process. She said the state School Board Association asked all the school boards to pass a similar resolution, but only three others so far have done so.

“School districts need to have input and need to be considered,” she said. “This asks legislators and candidates that are running to recognize local boards of education know a lot about their individual school districts and need to be involved.”

The resolution has eight positions for legislators to consider.

It asks that all bills affecting education be discussed under the open meeting law and be subject to public input, and that all legislative proposals be researched to determine the possible financial burdens on the district.

Clark said the district sent the resolution to all current legislators and all candidates for the Legislature and the governor’s position.

“We have gotten a couple a calls from candidates mostly letting us know they are empathetic to local issues,” she said.

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