Erin E. Cranor

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Erin E. Cranor
Erin E. Cranor.jpg
Board member, Clark County Board of Trustees, District G
Incumbent
Term ends
November 2018
Years in position 4
Leadership
Board President
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next general2018
Term limitsN/A
Education
Bachelor'sBrigham Young University
Master'sBrigham Young University
Personal
ProfessionTechnical writer
Websites
Office website
Campaign website
Erin E. Cranor represents District G on the Clark County Board of Trustees in Nevada. She was first elected to the board in 2010. Cranor and Joe Spencer defeated Ira Kimball in a primary election on June 10, 2014. Cranor and Spencer faced off in the general election on November 4, 2014, where Cranor won re-election.

Biography

Cranor holds a bachelor's degree in human biology and a master's degree in zoology from Brigham Young University. She works as a technical writer specializing in grant writing and fundraising for non-profit organizations. Cranor has been a volunteer with the Tomiyasu Elementary School PTA and a member of the Attendance Zone Advisory Commission.[1]

Elections

2014

See also: Clark County School District elections (2014)

Opposition

Three seats on the Clark County Board of Trustees were up for election in 2014. The June 10 primary featured Charles Ware running against Stavan Corbett, Kevin Child and Wesley Cornwell. Corbett and Child advanced to the general election on November 4, 2014. The District F primary included incumbent Carolyn Edwards and challengers Ileetha J. Groom and Ralph Krauss Edwards and Krauss advanced to the general election. Incumbent Erin E. Cranor faced Ira Kimball and Joe Spencer in the District G primary. Cranor and Spencer advanced to the November 4 ballot.

Results

General election
Clark County School District, District G General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngErin E. Cranor Incumbent 52.6% 18,224
     Nonpartisan Joe Spencer 47.4% 16,442
Total Votes 34,666
Source: Nevada Secretary of State, "Silver State 2014 Election Night Results," accessed November 5, 2014 These results are unofficial and will be updated when certified results are available.
Primary election
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% 5,071
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngJoe Spencer 34.7% 4,366
     Nonpartisan Ira Kimball 25% 3,147
Total Votes 12,584
Source: Nevada Secretary of State, "County Results Clark," accessed October 13, 2014

Funding

Cranor has reported $13,838.57 in contributions and $11,336.41 in expenditures to the Nevada Secretary of State, leaving her campaign with $2,502.16 on hand as of June 5, 2014.[2]

Endorsements

Cranor was endorsed by Veterans in Politics, International ahead of the primary.[3] She was later endorsed by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.[4]

2010

Clark County School District, District G General Election, 4-year term, November 2, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngErin E. Cranor 53.1% 22,343
     Nonpartisan James Brooks 46.9% 19,766
Total Votes 42,109
Source: Clark County Registrar of Voters, "Historical Election Results and Related Data," accessed March 17, 2014

Campaign themes

2014

Cranor's campaign website lists her themes for the 2014 campaign:

Erin Cranor's plan can be summed up in three words: Teachers. Transparency. Today.

Teachers

Parents know that a child's experience in school depends on the teachers. Our students need teachers who are allowed to teach. In other words, our schools should be filled with teachers who enjoy professional status, who are free to meet the dynamic needs of their students, and whose work as educators takes place in a professional environment of respect and ability. The classroom tools and ongoing training opportunities that equip teachers to continuously improve their art and practice are worthy investments. With your vote, Erin will continue to work hard and collaborate to help make Clark County, Nevada a great place to be a great teacher.

Transparency

In the business world, in the not-for-profit sector, and in parent volunteer organizations, once things are made transparent, things often fall into place. Anything that has no rightful place falls out of the picture. Even better, clarity can shed light on low-impact investments that can be ended, to make way for smarter, targeted investments in high-leverage opportunities for student success. Our schools are getting better transparency from the school board, and it needs to continue to improve. Erin will continue to ask the questions, do the homework, and complete the follow-up that results in transparency in this school district, so that the talent, the decision-making, and the resources are invested in greatest impact for student success. With your vote, Erin will help ensure precise investment in what works for student success.

Today

If we believe children are the future, what are we doing for students who are in our schools today? Today's students need safe, first-class schools. They need our community to be a great place to grow up - a great place today, not a decade or two down the road. People who daily look today's students in the eye have Erin's ear and Erin's support: today's parents, today's teachers, the people who work one-on-one with our students today. With your vote, Erin will continue to be inside our schools to listen and learn about what is happening, so we can make the changes our students need now.

In addition to the three T's that keep her day-to-day service centered for student success, Erin Cranor relies upon three C's for smart decision making and strategic leadership: Children, Clarity, and Collaboration.

Children are what this work is all about.

Clarity is a must for transformation.

Collaboration is what successful communities do for their children.

[5]

—Erin Cranor's campaign website, (2014), [6]

What was at stake?

Issues in the election

State ethics investigation


NBC story about the ethics commission's ruling.

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.[7]

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.[8]

Business Benefits lawsuit

Incumbent candidate in District G Erin E. Cranor came under heavy criticism over union influence in the negotiation of health plans for district employees. In 2011, former superintendent Dwight Jones hired Business Benefits, a consulting company, to negotiate a health plan for support staff with Unified Healthcare. The district had not had a unified health plan. Instead, there was separate coverage for teachers, support staff, administrators and school police. While the unified plan would have provided lower costs, the teachers union was reluctant to join the plan. Two years later, however, the union changed course and sought to join the unified plan during 2013 labor contract negotiations. Executive director of the district's teachers union, John Vellardita, advocated for the school to drop Unified Healthcare as the provider and for the creation of a district-wide self-funded plan, instead. According to a deposition by Edward Goldman, the chief labor negotiator for the district, Vellardita also sought to become the administrator of the proposed plan.[9]

At that time, Cranor began investigating Business Benefits. According to Goldman, Cranor accused him of accepting kickbacks from Tim DeRosa, president of Business Benefits. Additionally, an attorney for Business Benefits stated in a deposition that Cranor accused school district officials of taking bribes, but failed to provide evidence of these activities. Superinten­dent Pat Skorkowsky reported on the state of the support staff healthcare plan at a closed September 23, 2013 meeting, discussing issues with prior year deficits despite a healthy surplus that year. He stated that Cranor had "been the pushing force for us delving into this deeper." The district's chief financial officer told the board that former superintendent Jones had directed Business Benefits to hid the deficit with reserve funds. DeRosa was criticized in the discussion, as well, for having negotiated a $2.5 million commission from United Healthcare which would be included in health plan premiums during the two-year contract.[9]

In October 2013, Cranor e-mailed Skorkowsky, saying, "It appears there may be intent to continue to the current contract with the broker (Business Benefits), even though the contract is now known to be unfavorable to the district. The reason this is a concern is that it would seem to limit both our ability to sever the existing unfavorable contract and to limit our options going forward with a plan that includes the CCEA (teacher union) employee group." In November 2013, Cranor provided Skorkowsky with her research from the allegations she had made regarding bribes and misconduct regarding the healthcare plan.[9]

At the end of 2013, Skorkowsky cancelled the district's contract with Business Benefits providing them with just one day's notice instead of the contractually required six months notice. The move made the school liable for more than $2 million due to the breach of contract. Skorkowsky stated that Cranor did not direct him to make the decision. However, Business Benefits included Cranor as a named individual in their lawsuit against the school district. The lawsuit argued that she overstepped her authority in working to end the contract. It also questioned the district's direct communication with Vellardita on the issue.[9]

District officials offered Business Benefits a $100,100 settlement to drop Cranor as an individual in the lawsuit. Without receiving board input, district officials sent the check on September 12, 2014. Challenger Joe Spencer has filed an complaint with the state ethics board and called on Cranor to resign over the matter.[9]

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.[10]

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.[10]

State investigation into cheating

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.[11]

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.[12]


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 was home to 2,027,868 residents in 2013 according to estimates by the United States Census Bureau.[13] Clark County School District is the largest school district in Nevada, serving 313,398 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[14]

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.[15]

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.[16]

Demographics

Clark County performed similarly 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 equal to the statewide rate of 14.2 percent.[13]

Racial Demographics, 2012[13]
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[17]
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, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[18]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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References

  1. Erin Cranor 2014, "Who Am I?" accessed April 23, 2014
  2. Nevada Secretary of State, "Nevada Contributions & Expenditures," accessed May 21, 2014
  3. Veterans in Politics Talk Show, "Educational and Legislative State and County Candidates Compete for the Most Valuable Veteran Endorsement in Nevada," April 20, 2014
  4. Las Vegas Review-Journal, "EDITORIAL: For Clark County School Board," October 6, 2014 (timed out)
  5. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  6. Erin Cranor 2014, "Erin Cranor's Plan and Focus: Student Success!," accessed April 23, 2014
  7. Nevada Commission on Ethics, "Stipulated Agreement," February 21, 2014
  8. Las Vegas Review-Journal, "2 more Clark County School Board members face ethics complaints," January 16, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Union money troubles drove CCSD to dump consultant," October 25, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 Las Vegas Review-Journal, "CCSD sued over allegations of bullying at Henderson school," April 29, 2014
  11. Las Vegas Sun, "State investigation finds cheating at Las Vegas elementary school," April 16, 2014
  12. Las Vegas Review-Journal, "State corrects flaw that allowed graduation rate inflation," April 19, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 United States Census Bureau, "Clark County, Nevada," accessed April 22, 2014
  14. National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed April 22, 2014
  15. Nevada Department of Education, "Graphical Summary Report: CRT," accessed April 24, 2014
  16. Clark County School District, "2013-2014 Comprehensive Annual Budget Report," accessed November 25, 2013
  17. Clark County Registrar of Voters, "Home," accessed April 22, 2014
  18. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014