Jesus Jara’s termination approved by CCSD board; terms yet to be finalized – Las Vegas Sun

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2 minutes, 17 seconds Read

Wade Vandervort

Clark County School District Deputy Superintendent Brenda Larsen-Mitchell attends a meeting held to vote on Superintendent Jesus Jara’s resignation proposal at Henderson City Hall Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024.

Published Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024 | 7:13 p.m.

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024 | 8:30 p.m.

The Clark County School District Board wants Superintendent Jesus Jara to go but with payout terms to be determined.

The board voted 5-2 tonight to conditionally terminate Jara for convenience, with the district attorney to negotiate alternative terms.

Under his current contract, which was last renewed in 2022, Jara would be due a payout of yet-to-be-earned salary and benefits through his contact expiration date of June 30, 2026, if he is fired “for convenience,” or for no given reason.

Such a payout would have been worth about $950,000 in salary alone.

A future vote is contingent on Board Counsel negotiations regarding compensation.

Jara remains in his current role until the matter is resolved.

It is unclear when the item will return to the School Board and when he would depart.

Earlier in the evening, the Board voted 4-3 against accepting the embattled Jara’s “conditional” resignation. This would have allowed him to step down on Feb. 21 with a payout worth a year’s salary — $395,000 — plus the value of his benefits and unused time off.

The meeting audience cheered, applauded and pumped their fists at the decision to not give Jara the resignation package he wanted.

Throughout the discussion, some board members appeared to support Jara’s departure but were against the payout, which would have required an on-the-spot contract amendment as his current contract does not allow for any payout if he voluntarily steps down.

When the district announced Jara’s potential departure last week, neither his conditional resignation letter nor a statement from the School Board provided a reason why Jara would leave. The agenda for tonight’s meeting considered both resignation and termination options, but didn’t indicate if there was a preference. 

Jara’s time in CCSD has been tumultuous. The former biology teacher, coach and principal was at the helm throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and was most recently at the eye of a storm of contract negotiations with the Clark County Education Association teachers union. 

CCEA, among other community members who turned out tonight, said it wanted him fired for cause, citing the district’s many challenges and controversies since Jara took the helm in 2018.

CCSD has been plagued in recent years by stubbornly low student achievement, violence in schools, high teacher vacancies and other personnel turnover, poor labor relations, friction on the School Board, and other dramas like a crippling cyberattack last fall.

The School Board fired Jara for convenience in 2021, but the termination was reversed weeks later when one board member changed her vote.

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