Assemblyman proposing bill to change how Nevada School Boards operate

Reported by: Jaime Hayden
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Updated: 8/01/2014 8:09 pm
RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- With the Washoe County School District debacle unfolding last week, Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey is calling for the 2015 Nevada Legislature to consider certain changes regarding County School Boards.

Hickey is requesting the Legislative Counsel Bureau draft a bill that will look at a possible blended or hybrid system of elected and appointed School Board Members. But ultimately, Hickey said he hopes there will be peace between the WCSD Board of Trustees and Superintendent Pedro Martinez. "I personally hope that Dr. Martinez and the Board of Trustees can reconcile their differences."

Still, Hickey is looking to change how Nevada School Boards operate. "If we're going to have School Boards in the state that act kind of willy-nilly at times, maybe the state has to look at what that model of governance is and what is the role of a School Board, what is the role of a Superintendent."

Hickey’s bill draft request for the 2015 Legislative Session calls to make various changes concerning the Board of Trustees of School Districts, including providing for election and appointment of members and revising their powers. "We might want to look at the idea of a blended Board, where we would not only have electives that represent their communities, but also appointed members to that Board."

Hickey believes this would create more community input. "And not be at the whims of political storms like this that get caused from time to time."

But Hickey said if the School Board and Martinez can come to a resolution, the proposal may not be necessary. "It’s open for discussion, that’s what legislatures do."

News 4 requested an interview with the Board of Trustees through their attorney Kent Robison regarding Hickey's proposed bill, but did not hear back from him Friday.
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Sully - 8/3/2014 10:12 AM
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It wouldn't be a bad idea to allow the county commissioners to appoint school board members, if an elected member resigned or was booted off the board. However allowing appointed members outright would cause too many conflict of interests. As it now stands four of the current seven members are either former WCSD employees or have a direct connection to UNR or TMCC. This is probably why the board is currently appearing to favor staff over students.

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