Monday, May 21, 2018

Trustees Who Can’t Be Trusted

BY LOUIE OVERSTREET

Louie Overstreet

We are again being blessed with the spectacle of the Clark County School District (CCSD) engaging in the search for a new superintendent. Ranking right up there with death and taxes is the certainty that the $250,000 spent to hire a search firm will not be money well-spent.

The fact is that the trustees are clueless as to the type of person needed to manage a budget north of $2.4 billion. They are stuck on the old model of selecting a superintendent based on what seems to be a sole criterion: caring about children.

Compounding matters are the facts that despite support for education totaling in the billions annually — and with capital expenditures for building and maintaining facilities still enough to a choke a whole herd of horses — academically CCSD ranks near the bottom nationally.

As referenced earlier, the seven clueless members of the board of trustees spent a quarter of a million dollars to come up with four finalists; none of whom are local. While they appear to meet the standard criterion of loving kids, the jury is out on whether they will be able to improve academic performance in a majority-minority district through the effective management of capital resources.

I have been a critic of CCSD in good standing since the summer of 1997, and I paid a fine to CCSD, levied by the state ethics commission, for criticizing the school board for “rigging” a professional services contract way back in August 2000. The fine was $473.10. I rented a truck and paid the fine in 47,310 pennies, weighing over three hundred pounds. The state subsequently passed a law eliminating the ethics commission’s ability to levy fines against citizens for filing complaints against governmental agencies.

Sorry I got sidetracked, but I wanted to show how insensitive, incompetent, and sometimes even corrupt school districts can be. So don’t be surprised when the CSSD again selects someone not up to the job — like the trustees are not up to theirs.

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