By Kim Passoth
LAS VEGAS (KVVU) — Clark County School District leaders will address what to do about the lack of adults on school campuses at Thursday night’s CCSD Board of Trustees meeting.
The district is now calling its labor shortage “critical”. The main proposal on their agenda: bring back teachers who have retired.
“This is an emergency, and we need to behave as if it is an emergency,” argued English and Language Arts teacher Alexis Salt, who has been with CCSD for 15 years. Salt has been trying to sound the alarm about the teacher shortage and teacher burnout for months.
“This is going to be an absolute disaster. There are some schools that are looking at more than 25 openings,” Salt said.
Teachers have been leaving CCSD in record numbers. According to separations reported by the district in school board meeting agendas, so far this school year, more than 1,700 staff members have left.
“Teachers are very angry, and they don’t feel heard,” Salt said.
CCSD Trustee Danielle Ford said something needs to change before it is too late.
“We need to offer more money, we need to offer better health care,” Ford said.
Ford has a dire prediction if the district can’t get enough teachers by the beginning of next school year.
“The superintendent, I bet, will declare that we are going to be closing schools and private education companies would take over those schools,” Ford predicted citing similar cases in cities like New Orleans and Philadelphia.
Ford doesn’t want to see it happen in Clark County and offered a possible solution to retain teachers.
“We should be doing a reenlistment, a resigning bonus for our current teachers, whether you have a year experience or 30 years. For instance, if you sign a 3-year contract, you get a few thousand dollars. We have the funds… to be able to do that,” Ford said.
According to the school board agenda, CCSD Trustees could authorize retired teachers to fill all content/ subject areas as substitute teachers for the next two school years and waive a current 90 days waiting period, as well as a max earning cap, but that won’t stop current teachers from leaving.
“I always say I’m going to quit, but ultimately, I don’t because this is who I am, and this is what I do. I love teaching, I am a teacher. That being said, I am not sure I am going to spend the rest of my career in Clark County,” Salt said.
Teachers plan to protest Thursday before the board meeting. They are calling on Governor Sisolak to call a special session to address violence in schools. Here is a link to their petition: t.co/av9OEgK99J
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