LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – There was controversy at the first meeting for four new leaders of the Clark County School District. The newly appointed trustees immediately had some of their power stripped.

There has long been discussion of how the district, one of the biggest in the nation, should be governed. This past legislative session, state leaders voted to add four more members to the CCSD Board of Trustees adding more oversight. Thursday night was the first test.

“We are fully committed to fully engaging our new members to make meaningful change to improve student outcomes,” contended Evelyn Garcia Morales, President of the CCSD Board of Trustees. Assembly Bill 175 sought representation for the major cities and county that make up CCSD. Henderson, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Clark County each appointing a new member to the CCSD Board of Trustees.

Trustee Ramona Esparza-Stoffregan represents the City of Henderson, Trustee Adam Johnson represents the City of Las Vegas, Trustee Lisa Satory represents Clark County and Trustee Dane Watson represents the City of North Las Vegas.

The four new individuals will serve four-year terms but will do so as non-voting members.

As of Thursday night, their powers are even more restricted. Within the first few minutes of their first meeting, the elected members of the school board voted 5-1 to approve a change. Now, “a motion may only be made by a member with voting rights.”

“It is implied that they will have absolutely no other rights and that is further from the truth,” argued Garcia Morales about the new trustees. Before the vote, Trustee Esparza-Stoffregan was not pleased when she tried to weigh in and was not called on by Garcia Morales.

“I see that you would like to say something, you are welcome to however we already made a motion,” Garcia Morales told her.

Through the rest of the meeting the new trustees did add their voices to the discussion. Trustee Johnson weighed in on graduation rates and different expectations for students by racial group. “It looked like there were different targets for different racial groups…is there a way for us to change it midstream…so that our stated expectation is excellence for all,” Johnson questioned.

First thing Thursday, FOX5 put in a request with the school district to speak to any of the new trustees about their new roles. We asked again after the meeting and were told no. The district said they would have to find a different day for an interview.


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