Education

CCSD’s systemic problem and
its expensive consequences

Part One: Lydia Segal identifies the fatal flaw in America’s big school districts

Have you ever wondered why, year in and year out, the Clark County School District always seems to be short of money?

One answer frequently advanced, explicitly or implicitly, is quite simple: Nevada taxpayers are callous cheapskates, indifferent to their own children’s future.

Yet, the 17-year saga of CCSD’s highly expensive ERP adventure — where the estimated cost has ballooned from $15 million in 2001 to well over 10 times that amount today — suggests some kind of systemic problem.

Moreover, as this series will show, it’s a problem present not only in Southern Nevada but all across America’s larger school districts.

It is structural.

1. School district size correlates with the amount of waste and corruption

What researchers have repeatedly found is that waste, fraud and corruption flourish disproportionately in the largest school districts.

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Transparency

LVMPD going rogue on violent-crime statistics?

Abandons long-established FBI Uniform Crime Reporting standards

Is Las Vegas Metro doctoring its public reports to downplay a significant amount of violent crime?

Since 2011, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has been reporting robberies as “crimes against property,” rather than crimes against persons.

That departs significantly from the standards used by the FBI and virtually all other U.S. police agencies since the 1930s, when crime-reporting procedures for law-enforcement agencies became standardized under the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (“UCR”) Program.

Until 2011, Metro’s crime reporting also conformed to UCR standards — under which, “violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.” (Emphasis added.)

The remaining types of Category 1 offenses — burglary, larceny, and auto theft — constitute crimes against property.

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Analysis

State requires more accountability
from Southern Nevada police agencies

Law enforcement must file detailed reports every three months

For the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, its new More Cops money comes with higher transparency requirements.

That’s because when Clark County last week increased the countywide sales tax to hire more police officers, the county commission was implementing a new state law that requires a new level of oversight and reporting for Metro.

Under the state legislation — Assembly Bill 1 of the October special session, dubbed the Clark County Crime Prevention Act of 2016 — Metro’s governing five-member Fiscal Affairs Committee must submit quarterly reports to the state Department of Taxation on multiple matters.

The reports must spell out the total amount of the new More Cops tax dollars received and a “detailed description” of how that money was spent.

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Firms cash in on lawmakers’ craving
for ‘Champion of Small Business’ label

But taxpaying businesses, public regularly shortchanged

For every $2 million in ‘More Cops’ taxes,
Metro has added only one officer

Department has increased its force by only 325 officers
since 2005 — one-quarter of the 1,278 promised

Metro wants lawmakers to
believe in ‘magical number’

Staffing claims by LVMPD sheriff contradict 15 years of Metro’s own violent-crime data

CATO Institute gives Nevada Governor an ‘F’

Calls Sandoval’s heavy taxes for all businesses, with big breaks
for those favored by politicians, a ‘prescription for corruption’

Transparency an item for sale
by Metro PD’s officers union?

LVPPA agrees to equip all officers with body-worn
cameras — contingent upon salary increases

Updates to federal labor law
burden Nevada business anew

Some employees see new requirements as demoralizing demotions

Metro pushes for even more ‘More Cops’ taxes

Enlists powerful tourism committee in bid for higher, longer taxation

What happened to Metro's
‘More Cops’ promises?

Extra tax revenues channeled into bank, record-level pensions

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