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CCSD reassigns scores of workers in fall ‘surplus’ process

The Clark County School District is reassigning as many as 78 employees based primarily on student enrollment and program changes.

The school district, which has approximately 42,000 employees, held meetings Wednesday for affected support staff employees and Thursday for licensed employees. At the sessions, workers were able to choose from hundreds of vacant jobs at other schools during what is known as the “surplus” process.

Of those impacted, approximately 55 are licensed employees — including teachers — and 23 are support staff, according to the district. The number of licensed employees may fluctuate since the second meeting hadn’t yet occurred when a district spokesman provided an update Thursday afternoon.

Affected employees are involuntarily shifted to other campuses or positions if their school has a drop in student numbers as of a fall “count day.” Reassignments are for the remainder of the school year.

At the meeting for support professionals, the district made clear that employees must select from available positions for which they’re qualified and eligible.

“Should no lateral position be available, the employee may select a position at a lower pay grade,” it said in a presentation. If a lateral position is available and an employee is qualified but declines, “The employee has in effect resigned from the CCSD,” it said.

Employees with the least seniority are moved to different positions unless someone else volunteers to go.

As a result of the process, some schools will gain employees; others will lose them.

For support staff, there were about 690 vacant positions to choose from during the surplus process, Education Support Employees Association President Jan Giles said Thursday via email.

Six employees didn’t have a lateral position option and two of them accepted demotions “against the union’s advice,” Giles said.

A Clark County Education Association teachers union spokeswoman didn’t have an update on the surplus process Thursday, but a district spreadsheet shown at the meeting for licensed professionals showed more than 560 available job positions.

The Review-Journal counted approximately 41 licensed employees who participated in the surplus meeting. Of those, about eight selected Nevada Learning Academy, the school district’s only online school, which saw an exponential enrollment growth this school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Opponents of the surplus process have argued it’s disruptive to both employees and students, and can lead to larger class sizes for students when their teachers are displaced to another campus.

Others have argued there are issues with the process given the state’s reorganization law that allows CCSD principals and campuses more control over decisions, including staffing.

“Just a word of caution: Surplus makes teachers and support staff feel very uncomfortable and unvalued,” teacher Machelle Rasmussen told the School Board at its meeting last week.

Surplus is “not an acceptable leadership methodology,” Rasmussen said. “It actually is an indication of poor management. It should be avoided at all costs.”

Fewer licensed professionals are being reassigned this fall compared to previous school years.

In fall 2020, for example, approximately 65 were facing surplus. Before that, the district had 122 teachers in the surplus process in fall 2017 and 98 in fall 2016.

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2921. Follow @julieswootton on Twitter.

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