November 25, 2020

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CCSD may cut 1.5K jobs if online learning lasts full school year

Nov 20, 2020 | ,

If Clark County School District students don’t go back to campuses this school year, the district may have to cut nearly 1,500 staff jobs, according to a memo presented at a board meeting Thursday.

The staffing report was prepared at the request of the district’s board of trustees, who asked for an overview of the potential effects if the district remains in a distance learning model throughout the 2020-21 school year, according to the memo.

If students don’t return, the district might look to cut 1,480 positions “directly connected to the physical presence of students in the school buildings,” including 700 custodians, 650 bus drivers, 100 transportation support employees and 30 school police.

The rationale for each cut is that the daily workload would be reduced for those positions with no students on school campuses.

The report was informational only and did not allow for board discussion. However, several trustees asked to give comments, with Trustee Linda Cavazos pointing out that the report was not publicly posted until well after the cut-off time for public comment.

Board president Lola Brooks said after the meeting that the information was requested by Trustee Chris Garvey in preparation for the possibility that schools don’t return to in-person instruction for the rest of the year. No decision on that has yet been made, she said.

Trustee Danielle Ford described the threat of cuts as a scare tactic and said she hoped the district would find ways to repurpose all staff during distance learning, as well as present options to transition to hybrid learning that could incorporate all employees.

In a statement after the meeting, the district said it would continue to evaluate all positions within the district and “make additional reduction recommendations if appropriate.”

“CCSD anticipates that the potential continuation of full-time distance education through the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year may lead to a reduction of certain District positions directly related to the lack of a physical presence of students in school buildings,” the statement said. “While the impact of these potential reductions is considered, the district will continue to balance its commitment to fiscal responsibility, operational efficiency, and quality instruction.”

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