30 March 2023
Clark County School District (CCSD) is proposing a bill that would allow it to build, purchase or rent residential units for teachers and staff.
Patricia Haddad, the director of government relations at CCSD, presented the bill, SB47, to the Senate Education Committee on Monday. She said it aims to remove financial barriers for teachers to come and stay in the state.
“If we’re serious about disrupting cycles of poverty, fostering a diverse educator workforce that reflects the social and cultural experiences of the students that we seek to serve, we must be mindful of the financial barriers that exist for folks to even get started,” Haddad said during the bill hearing.
Nevada law already authorizes a school district’s board of trustees to build, purchase or rent certain buildings, but the bill expands the authority to purchase or rent residential units for employees of the school district and requires for the board of trustees to keep up with repairs as needed for “the comfort and health” of the resident.
“One of the many obstacles educators and support staff face is the high cost of housing in rural and urban communities throughout Nevada,” Haddad said. “The debilitating stress that ensues when your housing situation is in question, this stress compromises a person’s ability to be fully present, and for educators in particular, they already deal with immense challenges just by virtue of the job that they’re doing.”
Haddad said that CCSD owns lots of land that might not be suitable for building a school, either because of its size or the development in the surrounding area. She added that the school district would likely seek public-private partnerships to build and manage the residential properties.
“Through that joint partnership, development of that land, rents could potentially go toward the management fee for the private entity,” Haddad said. “And then any profits could therefore be used to subsidize the overall costs. I don’t think anyone’s looking at this as a moneymaking venture.”
The Nevada State Education Association, a teachers and support staff union, and the Nevada Association of School Superintendents, which is composed of all 17 superintendents, showed support of the bill during the hearing. While there wasn’t any opposition testimony during the hearing, some education advocates shared their discontent with the bill on Twitter.
Editor’s Note: This story appears in Behind the Bar, The Nevada Independent’s newsletter dedicated to comprehensive coverage of the 2023 legislative session. Sign up for the newsletter here.
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