Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022 | 2 a.m.
What’s involved in a voter initiative aimed at breaking up the Clark County School District?
A petition in support of allowing school district secession must be delivered to the Nevada secretary of state with at least 35,195 valid voter signatures from each of Nevada’s four congressional districts — that’s 140,777 signatures total, or at least 10% of the voters who voted in the 2020 general election — by Friday to continue with the latest attempt to split CCSD.
It’s a lengthy and complex process, including: filing notice to circulate a petition; gathering and verifying signatures; and going before the Nevada Legislature. There, the effort will either be approved by lawmakers or, if not, sent to a statewide vote.
Then, local voters must approve the split for their jurisdiction, such as in the city of Henderson.
If all goes according to secessionists’ plans, the earliest a new district could be up and running is by 2025.
Henderson Mayor-elect Michelle Romero, a Henderson native who attended CCSD schools in the city as a child, said she would support putting secession on the local ballot at the soonest opportunity.
“I think we’ve waited too long as it is,” she said.
The process is seven steps, and right now, Step 3 — signature verification — is pending at county elections departments around the state.
A spokesman for Clark County said he expected the elections department here to meet the Friday deadline. Clark County, which has the overwhelming majority of Nevada’s population, claims at least part of three of the state’s four congressional districts, and is the heart of the movement.
Here’s the process, step-by-step:
1 TASK: Organizers file a notice of intent with the secretary of state to circulate a statewide petition. This filing must contain the text of the initiative. STATUS: Completed in January 2022.
2 TASK: Organizers collect signatures from registered voters statewide in support of putting the item before the Legislature. Valid signatures must come from at least 140,777 registered voters, split equally between Nevada’s four congressional districts, according to the secretary of state. STATUS: More than 220,000 signatures were submitted to county elections departments on Nov. 23 for verification, organizers for the Community Schools Initiative said in a statement.
3 TASK: County elections departments verify signatures and submit totals to the secretary of state. STATUS: Underway. By law, counties must certify petition sufficiency within 13 working days of submission and certify the petitions to the secretary of state. In this instance, the deadline is Friday.
4 TASK: Initiative is introduced to the Legislature when it convenes Feb. 6. STATUS: TBD
5a TASK: The Legislature has 40 days to pass the law, according to the secretary of state. That means the Assembly and Senate have advanced it through committees, approved it in floor votes and forwarded it to the governor, who has until March 17 to determine whether to sign it into law.STATUS: TBD
5b TASK: The Legislature fails to take action on the initiative within the mandated 40-day period. This automatically puts the initiative on the statewide general election ballot for voter approval in November 2024. STATUS: TBD
6a TASK: Registered voters approach their city council with a petition to include a local ballot question on whether to withdraw from CCSD and form a city school district, according to the initiative text. The initiative says this would be on the next general election ballot; as elections are held only in even-numbered years, the soonest this question could face a local vote is November 2024, assuming the Legislature approves the change in law directly in the upcoming session. If it has to pass on the statewide 2024 general ballot first, the earliest it could see a city vote is November 2026. STATUS: TBD
6b TASK: A city council promptly decides itself to place the question of whether to withdraw from CCSD on the local ballot. Again, the earliest local voters could decide on a city district is November 2024 if the Legislature approves the law directly or November 2026 if it faces the state ballot first. STATUS: TBD
7 TASK: The city school district begins its first year after being approved by voters. The initiative gives new districts two years to launch. STATUS: 2025 or 2026 if approved in 2024; 2027 or 2028 if approved in 2026.