Clark County School District elections (2014)

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2014 Clark County School District Elections

Primary election date:
June 10, 2014
General election date:
November 4, 2014
Table of Contents
About the district
Method of election
Elections
What's at stake?
Key deadlines
Additional elections
External links
References
See also
Nevada
Clark County School District
Clark County, Nevada ballot measures
Local ballot measures, Nevada
Flag of Nevada.png

Three seats on the Clark County Board of Trustees are up for general election on November 4, 2014. A primary election was held on June 10, 2014 to narrow the field to two candidates for each seat. Incumbent Stavan Corbett and challenger Kevin Child advanced from the District D primary against Wesley Cornwell and Charles Ware. District F incumbent Carolyn Edwards and newcomer Ralph Krauss defeated Ileetha J. Groom. Erin E. Cranor and Joe Spencer will face off in the general election after defeating Ira Kimball in the District G primary.

The District G race between incumbent Erin E. Cranor and challenger Joe Spencer brings attention to a state ethics investigation of four board members. Spencer filed a complaint earlier this year with the Nevada Commission on Ethics against Cranor and three other board members based on their advocacy for a 2012 property tax increase. The complaint claimed that the board members used district resources to support the increase, which did not gain approval at the ballot in November 2012. Spencer's filing included emails from district secretaries asking for volunteers to gain support from their neighbors and friends ahead of the vote. District F incumbent Carolyn Edwards faced a similar complaint from another district resident but settled with the ethics commission in November 2013.[1]

District officials have recently faced questions about their administration of annual testing at Matt Kelly Elementary School. The Nevada Department of Education investigated the district after allegations of cheating at Kelly Elementary were levied in 2012. State officials found that the school did not maintain a clear paper trail of teachers or administrators who were involved in overseeing student testing in 2012. The investigation also targeted Associate Superintendent Andre Denson for failing to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident. Denson and two school officials were placed on paid leave following the state investigation and district administrators are handling testing at Kelly Elementary in 2014.[2]

See also: What's at stake in the Clark County School District election?

About the district

See also: Clark County School District, Nevada
Clark County School District is located in Clark County, Nevada
Clark County School District is located in Las Vegas, Nevada, the county seat of Clark County. Clark County is home to 2,027,868 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau.[3] Clark County School District is the largest school district in Nevada, serving 313,398 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[4]

Academic performance

Nevada students in grades three through eight complete Criterion Referenced Tests (CRT) each year to determine proficiency in math and reading. Clark County School District fell below the state average for meeting or exceeding math standards in four out of six grade levels. District schools only surpassed state averages for meeting or exceeding reading standards among fourth-grade students. The district also fell below state standards for science testing among students in grades five and eight.[5]

Budget

Clark County School District's total budget for the 2013-2014 school year was $3.2 billion. This was the largest operating budget for any school district in Nevada. The district spent 67.2 percent of its budget on staff expenses, 15.1 percent on debt service, 8.5 percent on student services, 8.3 percent on operational expenses and 1 percent on miscellaneous expenses.[6]

Demographics

Clark County underperformed in comparison to the rest of Nevada in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 22.1 percent of Clark County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 22.2 percent for Nevada as a whole. The median household income in Clark County was $54,218 compared to $54,083 for the state of Nevada. The poverty rate in Clark County was 14.2 percent compared to 14.2 percent for the entire state.[3]

Racial Demographics, 2012[3]
Race Clark County (%) Nevada (%)
White 73.2 77.1
Black or African American 11.3 8.9
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.2 1.6
Asian 9.4 7.9
Two or More Races 4.1 3.8
Hispanic or Latino 29.8 27.3

Party registration, 2014[7]
Party Number of registered voters
Democratic 345,420
Republican 241,454
Nonpartisan 138,302
Other 44,328
Total 769,504

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages.[8]

Method of board member selection

The Clark County Board of Trustees consists of seven members elected by district to four-year terms. There was a primary election on June 10, 2014 and the general election will be held on November 4, 2014. Four seats will be on the ballot in November 2016.

Candidates filed their declarations of candidacy with the Clark County Registrar of Voters by March 14, 2014. The filing fee for school board candidates in Clark County is $30. Each candidate had to actively reside in the district for at least 30 days prior to the filing deadline. State law requires candidates to file five campaign finance reports with the Nevada Secretary of State between May 20, 2014 and January 15, 2015.[9]

Residents of Clark County could register to vote in the primary election until May 20, 2014. The county elections office administered early voting at various locations throughout the county between May 24, 2014 and June 6, 2014. The elections office also accepted applications for mail ballots through June 3, 2014.[10][11]

Elections

2014

Candidates

[edit]

Candidates defeated in the primary

  • Wesley Cornwell
    • Graduate, University of Nevada-Las Vegas
  • Charles Ware
    • Graduate, Central Missouri State University and A.T. Still University of Health Sciences
    • Owner, Innovative Health Education Solutions
    • Instructor, University of Phoenix and United States Sports Academy

Candidates defeated in the primary

  • Ileetha J. Groom
    • Graduate, University of California-Berkeley, Saint Xavier University of North Carolina State University
    • Project facilitator for district schools

Candidates defeated in the primary

Clark County School District map.jpg

Election results

Primary
Clark County School District, District D Primary Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngStavan Corbett Incumbent 36.5% 2,598
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKevin Child 26.5% 1,882
     Nonpartisan Wesley Cornwell 20.9% 1,487
     Nonpartisan Charles Ware 16.1% 1,148
Total Votes 7,115
Source: Nevada Secretary of State, "County Results Clark," accessed June 11, 2014 These election results are unofficial. They will be updated once certified election results are available.


Clark County School District, District F Primary Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngCarolyn Edwards Incumbent 55.2% 7,729
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngRalph Krauss 31.9% 4,467
     Nonpartisan Ileetha J. Groom 12.9% 1,801
Total Votes 13,997
Source: Nevada Secretary of State, "County Results Clark," accessed June 11, 2014 These election results are unofficial. They will be updated once certified election results are available.


Clark County School District, District G Primary Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngErin E. Cranor Incumbent 40.3% 5,068
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJoe Spencer 34.7% 4,362
     Nonpartisan Ira Kimball 25% 3,144
Total Votes 12,574
Source: Nevada Secretary of State, "County Results Clark," accessed June 11, 2014 These election results are unofficial. They will be updated once certified election results are available.

Endorsements

Veterans in Politics, International (VIPI) endorsed Ralph Krauss in District F and Erin E. Cranor in District G ahead of the June 10, 2014 primary.[12]

Campaign finance

Candidates have received a total of $92,835.04 and spent a total of $57,433.79 as of June 6, 2014, according to the Nevada Secretary of State.[13]

In the District D race, candidates have raised a total of $32,390.81 and spent a total of $27,374.21.

Candidate Contributions Expenditures Cash on hand
Kevin Child $2,997.24 $3,005.33 -$8.09
Stavan Corbett $27,713.57 $22,795.09 $4,918.48
Wesley Cornwell $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Charles Ware $1,680.00 $1,573.79 $106.21

In the District F race, candidates have raised a total of $46,256.17 and spent a total of $18,445.42.

Candidate Contributions Expenditures Cash on hand
Carolyn Edwards $22,578.57 $6,203.48 $16,375.09
Ileetha J. Groom $17,077.60 $4,937.51 $12,140.09
Ralph Krauss $6,600.00 $7,304.43 -$704.43

In the District G race, candidates have raised a total of $14,188.06 and spent a total of $11,614.13.

Candidate Contributions Expenditures Cash on hand
Erin E. Cranor $13,838.57 $11,336.41 $2,502.16
Ira Kimball $349.49 $277.72 $71.77
Joe Spencer $0.00 $0.00 $0.00

Past elections

What's at stake?

Issues in the election

State ethics investigation of board members

Local resident and District G candidate Joe Spencer filed complaints against four board members to the Nevada Commission on Ethics in late 2013. Spencer claimed that Erin E. Cranor, Linda Young, Chris Garvey and Deanna Wright used district resources to support a property tax increase in 2012. The complaints included emails sent by district secretaries asking for volunteers to promote a $669 million tax measure that was ultimately defeated. State law allows board members to advocate for ballot measures but they are not allowed to use district personnel or resources for advocacy. Spencer also filed a complaint against school district attorney Carlos McDade with the State Bar of Nevada for his approval of the advocacy emails that has not been resolved as of April 23, 2014. The Nevada Commission on Ethics ruled on February 21, 2014 that Cranor's actions did not "willfully violate" state law and no penalty was issued.[14]

Spencer's ethics complaints echoed a similar complaint filed by Ken Small against board member Carolyn Edwards in 2013. The ethics commission was scheduled to hold a hearing in November 2013 but ended the investigation with an undisclosed settlement after McDade's role in approving the advocacy emails became clear.[1]

Issues in the district

ACLU lawsuit over bullying incidents

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Nevada has filed lawsuit on behalf of two Clark County parents related to bullying incidents at Greenspun Junior High School in 2011. The lawsuit filed with the Eighth Judicial District Court in April 2014 claims that the district failed to address frequent harassment of two 13-year old boys who attended the school. Parents Mary Bryan and Aimee Hairr claim that their sons were physically harmed and verbally harassed in their band class between August 2011 and February 2012. Bryan argues that she attempted to work with the school starting in September 2011 to protect her son but received no response from the principal, band instructor or counselor. Hairr also attempted to contact the district regarding attacks against her son but claims that the district failed to remedy the issue. Bryan and Hairr ultimately removed their students from the school in February 2012 after the district failed to develop appropriate safety measures. The ACLU lawsuit argues that the district violated the equal protection rights of both students.[15]

The lawsuit by Bryan and Hairr followed the suicide of Hailee Lamberth on December 12, 2013. Lamberth was a student at White Middle School who was harassed by a fellow student only a few weeks before committing suicide. Hailee's father, Jason, was not told about the bullying incidents and only learned the details when he requested her student records. The ACLU case and the story of Hailee Lamberth both feature academic manager Andre Long. Long has been blamed by Lamberth for his failure to provide adequate information prior to his daughter's suicide. Bryan suggested that Long failed to follow through on promises to provide assistance after bullying incidents.[15]

State investigation into cheating at Kelly Elementary

The Nevada Department of Education conducted a two-year investigation into allegations of cheating on state tests by employees of Matt Kelly Elementary School. These allegations stemmed from a significant jump in proficiency scores by students at Kelly Elementary between 2011 and 2012. The state's findings published in April 2014 found that the district failed to maintain accurate records of personnel responsible for test administration in 2012. District officials were also criticized for failure to conduct a more rigorous investigation of test irregularities. Score results from 2012 have been invalidated and district administrators will conduct testing at Kelly Elementary in 2014. The district has responded by placing Associate Superintendent Andre Denson and two school administrators on indefinite paid leave pending review of the report.[2]

Graduation rate inflation

Clark County School District's high school graduation rates were investigated by state officials following a significant jump in 2013. The district's graduation rate jumped by 10 percent in 2013, which contributed to an eight-percent increase for the state graduation rate. State officials worked with the U.S. Department of Education to evaluate the district's calculation of graduation rates. This evaluation found that the district excluded high school seniors who transferred into adult education programs without earning diplomas or earned high school equivalency degrees not considered diplomas when calculating graduation rates. Federal officials asked school administrators across the country to calculate graduation rates by following each freshman class through a four-year period. This policy was not strictly followed by state education officials, who allowed districts to exclude adult education students from the four-year graduation rate. The adjusted rate for 2013 would likely be at least three percent less than the inflated rate, according to state officials. The 2013 graduate rates will not be adjusted though the addition of omitted students in 2014 will likely contribute to a drop in graduation rates.[16]

Key deadlines

The following dates are key deadlines for the Clark County School District election in 2014:[9][11]

Deadline Event
March 3, 2014 First day to submit declarations of candidacy
March 14, 2014 Last day to submit declarations of candidacy
March 25, 2014 Last day to withdraw candidacy
May 20, 2014 First campaign finance reporting deadline
May 20, 2014 Last day to register to vote in the primary election
May 24, 2014 First day of early voting for primary election
June 3, 2014 Deadline for requesting mail or absentee ballot for primary election
June 6, 2014 Last day of early voting for primary election
June 6, 2014 Second campaign finance reporting deadline
June 10, 2014 Primary election day
October 14, 2014 Third campaign finance reporting deadline
October 18, 2014 First day of early voting for general election
October 28, 2014 Deadline for requesting mail or absentee ballot for general election
October 31, 2014 Last day of early voting for general election
October 31, 2014 Fourth campaign finance reporting deadline
November 4, 2014 General election day
January 15, 2015 Last campaign finance reporting deadline

Additional elections on the ballot

The school board election shares the ballot with county, state and federal elections on November 4, 2014. Residents of Clark County will vote in races for county commission, district attorney, treasurer and other county executive positions. The ballot includes candidates for governor, secretary of state, state treasurer and other state executive offices. Voters will also choose candidates for state legislative seats. Three U.S. House seats are also up for election on November 4, 2014.[17]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Las Vegas Review-Journal, "2 more Clark County School Board members face ethics complaints," January 16, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 Las Vegas Sun, "State investigation finds cheating at Las Vegas elementary school," April 16, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 United States Census Bureau, "Clark County, Nevada," accessed April 22, 2014
  4. National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed April 22, 2014
  5. Nevada Department of Education, "Graphical Summary Report: CRT," accessed April 24, 2014
  6. Clark County School District, "2013-2014 Comprehensive Annual Budget Report," accessed November 25, 2013
  7. Clark County Registrar of Voters, "Home," accessed April 22, 2014
  8. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 Clark County Registrar of Voters, "2014 Candidate Guide," accessed April 22, 2014
  10. Clark County Registrar of Voter, "2014 Primary Early Voting Schedule," accessed April 28, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 Clark County Registrar of Voters, "Important Dates," accessed April 22, 2014
  12. Veterans in Politics Talk Show, "Educational and Legislative State and County Candidates Compete for the Most Valuable Veteran Endorsement in Nevada," April 20, 2014
  13. Nevada Secretary of State, "Nevada Contributions & Expenditures," accessed May 21, 2014
  14. Nevada Commission on Ethics, "Stipulated Agreement," February 21, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 Las Vegas Review-Journal, "CCSD sued over allegations of bullying at Henderson school," April 29, 2014
  16. Las Vegas Review-Journal, "State corrects flaw that allowed graduation rate inflation," April 19, 2014
  17. Clark County Registrar of Voters, "Offices Up for Election in 2014 in Clark County, NV," accessed April 22, 2014