Behind the Scenes of the Las Vegas School District: Insights from Dr. Jara
We were over the moon to welcome one of our most highly anticipated guest speakers to our sales meeting in January. Dr. Jesus Jara has been an incredible asset to the Clark County School District since being appointed Superintendent in 2018. But it has not come without its challenges. He is at the helm of what is essentially a $6 billion organization serving over 300,000 students, 40,000 employees, and 18,000 educators spanning a county as large as the state of Massachusetts. No pressure.
Jara said the K-12 school system is the biggest piece of economic development for Southern Nevada and he couldn’t be more correct. Las Vegas has recently been ranked among the top 20 relocation destinations for businesses and each business that moves to our community brings employees and their families who need to enroll in local schools. Ultimately, the better the school system, the easier it is for our sales associates to sell homes.
“If you want to make enemies, try to change something.” – Woodrow Wilson
Dr. Jara arrived in Clark County with a small budget and a slew of problems to address, including a lack of systems across the large district. Today, he is focused on producing an educated workforce that is college-ready if they so choose. He hopes that his disciplined spending plan and system accountability management will help him achieve this.
With the support of Governor Lombardo for who education is a top priority, state funding per student has increased from between $7K to $8K to $10K per student. This allowed them to allocate additional funds for teacher raises and increased teacher salary to $50,000. Teachers play a critical role in shaping our future by educating and inspiring the next generation. Not only do teachers deserve to make a decent living, the higher pay leads to better job satisfaction and moral which creates a more stable learning environment resulting in better student outcomes.
We asked Dr. Jara what he would do if he was given a magic wand to wave over the CCSD and here’s what topped his list:
The current school day within the CCSD is only six hours and 11 minutes. Jara said this is simply too short and educators need more time with students for improved learning.
Put More Systems in Place
Surprisingly, we don’t need more money. We need to keep putting additional systems in place to hold people accountable on behalf of our kids.
Smaller Class Sizes
The CCSD average class size is between x and x depending on the grade level. Educators are working in an environment with too many students. Other states have legislature in place to keep the class sizes small.
Dr. Jara stated these are futuristic, long-term goals but if they are put into place, the results we are looking for will materialize.
Watch the full presentation here: https://vimeo.com/794591054