Clark County School District Ain’t Right
BY LOUIE OVERSTREET
Here is a brief history, in my opinion (more on this later), of the primary reasons the Clark County School District has been able to dupe an unsuspecting citizenry for the nearly two decades that I have lived in Las Vegas.
- Since the turn of the last century, the District’s student population has become majority-minority. Today whites make up 36% of the system. Hispanics, Blacks, Asians, and multi-racial students now comprise 64% of the student population in 2015.
- While student demographics have changed, the top administrative positions at the District still reflect a heavy Mormon influence.
- Board members are heavily influenced by businesses that contribute to their campaigns. Further, by education and experience, they are ill-equipped to make policy decisions for an organization that oversees a multi-billion-dollar budget with 32,000 employees.
- The District consistently ranks in the bottom 20% of 50 states and the District of Columbia. Yet each year, they ask for more money while accepting now new accountability.
- Adding insult to injury, if students do not pass a proficiency test, they do not receive a diploma, but rather a certificate of attendance. Man, if I had children in this system, I would be suing the District. I attended every college they would let me into, and there was never a proficiency test required to graduate. They must have figured passing my engineering classes was enough reason to get rid of me.
I arrived in Las Vegas in July 1997. With an interest in education, I literally attended every school board meeting from August 1997 thru the end of 2003.
Almost immediately, I discovered games were being played in the awarding of contracts for professional services. I filed a complaint with the Nevada Ethics Commission, basically stating that the award contracts were being rigged. All I got for my troubles was to be fined $473.10; I paid the fine with 47,310 pennies, weighing nearly 300 pounds. Later, changes to state law meant that citizens no longer have to pay fines for filing complaints.
This is first in a two-part series. Next month, Louie Overstreet shares his opinion on “building schools that are not needed.”