Teachers take stand at school board rally, issues over salary

A teacher rally concerning funding issues took place outside of a school board meeting Thursday. The meeting, which took place at Liberty High School, was promptly shut down after the board was escorted out by security, interrupting the time teachers had to comment.

The build-up stems from a promised raise and compensation that teachers could get by receiving higher education and training; however, the teachers, who sometimes put 700 hours into training, were not compensated for their efforts. Teachers and supporters alike wanted to express their frustration in front of the board, which included Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara.

“The Clark County School District is so severely underfunded, and the funds have been mismanaged for so long, that we are now at the breaking point,” Spring Valley teacher Harold Nichols said. “So teachers are collectively getting together to voice their concerns because we know what’s best for our students.”

Nichols, who received his national board certification last year, spoke during public comment and ripped his certificate in half in front of the board to demonstrate his anger over perceived injustices. 

“Clark County School District and the state of Nevada usually gets a bad rep, but the thing is, we have great schools in the district, we just have a horrible system,” Nichols said. “And the teachers and administration shouldn’t be the scapegoats for why things are bad within CCSD, and I think the accountability needs to fall on those who are in charge within the district.”

Multiple SVHS teachers were at the rally and meeting. Almost every teacher at Spring Valley is involved in extracurricular activities or professional development, as per Principal Tam Larnerd’s request. This makes most teachers eligible for their increase in pay promised by their contract. 

“I was at the rally because I think that teachers and the union need our support here,” said Marc Hyles, another SVHS teacher who was at the rally. “We are your right, and I think that it is important that our voices are heard, especially when we think about the needs of the school, students … and funding the classroom. So I was in support of all of it.”

Hyles said that he saw a lot of enthusiasm at the rally. 

“There was also a lot of people who are passing by, perhaps parents or whatever … who were showing their support by driving slowly and honking their horns in support of the teachers out there,” Hyles said.

In support of their teachers, SVHS students are planning a walkout on Thursday, Sept. 5, at the beginning of sixth period. 

“It’s just a matter of sticking together and doing what’s right, and when we stick together … we do what’s right for, not just us collectively as teachers, but we’re doing what’s right for our students,” Nichols said.