LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – A major change is coming at the top of the Clark County School District.

Wednesday night, the Board of Trustees voted to terminate Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara but voted not to pay a buyout he demanded. There are still many questions to be answered: When will he leave? How much will he get? Who will be the next superintendent?

When Jara became the leader of CCSD back in 2018, he had a lot of people on his side, but by October 2021, he was voted out by Trustees who changed their minds weeks later. On Wednesday night, they once again voted to terminate his contract during the public meeting held at Henderson City Hall.

There was a tense exchange between a new non-voting member of the school board, Adam Johnson, who represents the City of Las Vegas, and its president and longtime Jara ally, Evelyn Garcia Morales.

“Who initiated the conversation around resignation? Did you approach the superintendent? Or did he yield to a request?” Johnson questioned.

“I’m answering your question but I’m also going to expand a little bit more. If you’ve been on the board last year, it was obvious and I’m sure you were attentive. There was a call for Jara to resign,” Garcia Morales shared.

Through that exchange, it was revealed Garcia Morales, along with two other trustees, approached Jara, asking him to resign after calls from state leaders for him to step down. Jara agreed but asked for a year’s salary and benefits to leave with two weeks’ notice, though his contract calls for 90 days’ notice with no payout. Jara’s yearly salary alone would be nearly $400,000, more than twice as much as the governor makes per year. That lump sum led to public outcry.

“I am here to adamantly oppose this buyout scheme. I wholeheartedly applaud Superintendent Jara for coming to the realization that his time here in CCSD has come to an end. We don’t believe that this newfound awareness of his ineptness is the reason for the attempted hijacking of taxpayer dollars,” contended Jim Frazze, a CCSD educator and Vice President of the Clark County Education Association (CCEA).

Jara faces several scandals and potential investigations, one involving a misogynistic post on his social media account and another having to do with recruiting trips to beach locations allegedly using COVID money.

“All of this is grounds to fire him for cause and not pay him a dime. As the net is closing in on Jara, he is looking for an exit plan and you are going to give it to him,” argued high school teacher Kenny Belknap.

Three trustees, (Garcia Morales, Katie Williams, and Lola Brooks), wanted to give him that buyout. “I think he has been a scapegoat for some long-standing systemic issues. So, this is an act of kindness,” Brooks explained. The three were outvoted, 4 to 3.

After a break and another round of public discussion, Trustees voted 5-2 to terminate Jara’s contact for the convenience of the Board, just as they did in October 2021. The termination is conditional. The board’s legal counsel must meet with Jara to “negotiate alternative terms.”

No one knows at this point how much money Jara could now get. He did not show up to the meeting deciding his fate with the district.

There was an item on the agenda to appoint his replacement, his second in command Dr. Brenda Larsen Mitchell. That discussion was tabled until Jara’s termination is settled.

As the Board of Trustees voted to negotiate termination for convenience, Jara remains in his current role until the matter is resolved. CCSD tells FOX5 that a future vote is contingent on Board Counsel negotiations regarding his compensation.


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