By Albert Angulo
“He who opens a school door, closes a prison.” Victor Hugo
Las Vegas, Nevada — As a follow-up on the report The Guardian Express previously did on potential cuts on CCSD, we sadly announce that, in fact, the board of Clark County School District delivered on its promise when on Wednesday morning it sent out layoff notices for more than 400 employees all over the District to licensed personnel as part of its reduction of more than 1,000 teaching positions for the 2012-2013 school year.
The board acknowledged that the class sizes will go up on an average of five to seven kids per class, enlarging the already big groups around the valley schools, going from the 30s to almost 40s and in some cases 50 students per class, which makes it virtually impossible to give students personalized attention and one on one moments with their teachers.
As a teacher myself, I had the opportunity to experience the tension and sadness CCSD employees lived last week. It was very sad to see the faces of fellow colleagues when they received their pink slips letting them know they were not going to be able to come back to work for the next school year as part of the board budgetary cuts.
The Guardian Express wanted to get a closer look at this issue, so we went ahead and took a survey around Roy Martin Middle School.
“It’s really hard to receive this type of news, especially in this economy, but I have to get over it. I have a class to teach,” heroically stated Lauren, one of the teachers affected by the cuts.
“It is really, really sad. I feel sorry for the kids. This means less opportunities for my kids to get their questions answered,” said Maureen, the mother of a CCSD student.
The bottom line was that the school district had to close a 39 million dollar budget gap over each of the next two school years. They said layoffs could have been avoided if the union had agreed to concessions before the end of arbitration.
Here is a copy of the pink letter 400 teachers received last week. The name address have been changed for security reasons: