Election Could Shake Up CCSD School Board
It’s been hard to focus on the upcoming election with so much else going on in the world.
But by now you should have received your mail-in ballot for the primaries, which take place June 9.
On it, 30 candidates are vying for seats on the Clark County School District board of commissioners.
Jackie Valley, covers education for the Nevada Independent, said primary elections already see a low voter turnout and a school board election in the primary often gets lost in the mix.
“These are down-ballot races. In this case, there are 30 candidates for four school board seats,” she said, “That’s a lot of information to sort through as just an average resident trying to make a decision.”
Valley said there are education and parents' groups that are trying to fill the information gap with candidate interviews and questionnaires.
Valley also has information about who is running for the school board on the Nevada Independent website.
The school board is made up of seven seats and three of those are up for grabs. The fourth seat is held by incumbent Lola Brooks.
“There’s going to be shakeup because three of the seats up for grabs are because trustees are termed out. So, we’ll have three new faces no matter what,” Valley said.
Whoever is elected will be facing tough budget decisions. The school district is expected to see a massive budget shortfall from the shutdown designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“Unfortunately, it’s horrible timing,” Valley said, “The state was gearing up to make education funding a major priority. There was a lot of movement on that end. We got this new funding formula and now that outlook is entirely different given the skyrocketing fall of tax revenue.”
The exact amount the school district is going to lose is not known right now but Valley said the impact will be significant – no matter what.
Besides causing major damage to the state’s budget, the coronavirus outbreak has forced Clark County to move to a mostly mail-in ballot system for the primary election.
Valley said that move might work for or against voter turnout.
“On one hand the pandemic and the mostly mail-in election could deter people from voting. On the other hand, it could do quite the opposite and really motivate them knowing everything at stake.”
Jackie Valley, reporter, The Nevada Independent