Community Schools Initiative announces major endorsements


Las Vegas, Nev. – The Community Schools Initiative, a statutory ballot initiative that will allow cities and municipalities to opt-out of their county school districts to form their own, announced a slate of major endorsements from Southern Nevada’s business community today. Those endorsing the initiative include the Vegas Chamber, Urban Chamber of Commerce, Latin Chamber of Commerce, Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce, Henderson Chamber of Commerce and the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce.


“Raising student achievement is essential for the future of Nevada.  This petition will compel legislators to address the state’s archaic governance of our school system and give communities more options to meet the educational needs of its students,” said Mary Beth Sewald, president and CEO of the Vegas Chamber.  “The Vegas Chamber urges voters to sign this petition so that lawmakers can explore solutions that would benefit students and elevate classroom results.”


The Community Schools Initiative is designed to revamp Nevada’s outdated and underperforming K-12 education system.  If passed, it will allow for cities and municipalities to form school districts that will be smaller and more responsive to the needs of the communities they serve. Nevada’s school districts are currently determined by county boundaries, but this initiative would allow districts to be formed by either ordinance or direct vote of the people in each jurisdiction.


“The Latin Chamber of Commerce believes that everything that can benefit a young person’s education should be on the table and the LCC will be involved to make sure that all ideas are equitable, so that no child gets left behind,” said Peter Guzman, president and chief executive officer of the Latin Chamber of Commerce.


“The Urban Chamber supports Community Schools because the current massive system isn’t working and is leaving the most vulnerable students further behind,” said Ken Evans, outgoing president for the Urban Chamber of Commerce.


New districts formed under the Community Schools Initiative will have the same authority and rights as current county-based school districts and will retain all funding that has been allocated by the state and federal government.


“Education is always on the top of our priorities at the chamber. We are so happy that we are participating with the Community Schools Initiative to make our school system better,” said Robert Young, President of the Asian Chamber of Commerce.


The Community Schools Initiative is currently in the signature gathering phase and will qualify for the ballot once it has collected 140,777 valid signatures. Once qualified, it will appear on the November 2024 ballot if not passed by the Nevada Legislature in 2023.


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About the Community Schools Initiative

The Community Schools Initiative (CSI) is a non-partisan coalition of advocates with a goal of improving K-12 education in Nevada. Earlier this year, CSI filed a Statutory Ballot Initiative to Amend NRS 386, which would allow cities and municipalities to opt-out of their county school districts and form their own. New districts would be formed either through ordinances passed by the local government body or by the voters of each jurisdiction. Once 140,777 valid signatures have been collected and the initiative has qualified, the Nevada Legislature has the ability to pass it during the first 45 days of the 2023 session.  If no action is taken, the Community Schools Initiative will appear before the voters on the 2024 ballot in Nevada.