Important update: The CCSD and CCEA agreed to a revised version of this contract, which excluded this worrisome section. While NPRI applauds the fact that the revised contract no longer rewards teachers for unconstitutional behavior, the fact that such behavior is still allowed is troubling. Also troubling is the fact that both CCSD and CCEA have been unable to adequately explain how, or why, the provision was included in the original draft contract.
Contact Michael Schaus, 702-222-0642
LAS VEGAS — The draft union contract between the Clark County School District and the Clark County Education Association includes a provision (17-1-1-4) that would endorse government-salary double dipping on the part of teachers.
The section states that any teacher who currently serves in the legislature could be given paid leave by the district while that teacher serves on legislative committee hearings which occur outside of the regular session.
As Nevada Policy Research Institute Communication Director Michael Schaus explains, this provision within the union contract essentially subsidizes and encourages violations of the state constitution’s separation of powers clause:
Legislators who remain employed with government agencies are already in violation of both the spirit, and the text, of Nevada’s constitution. Deciding then to give that government employee “paid leave” while they are conducting legislative business is nothing short of rewarding them for unconstitutional behavior at the expense of taxpayers.
The few active teachers who currently serve in the legislature are already in violation of the spirit of the law. The contract proposed by CCEA would further encourage, and reward, such unconstitutional behavior.
If approved, the contract would not only ignore this constitutional violation, but actually use taxpayer dollars to pay an employee who is directly influencing policy as a member of the legislative branch — which on its most basic level is a clear conflict of interest.
The proposed contract demonstrates that such constitutional and ethical conflicts are not only tolerated, but are often encouraged by the political class running government-funded education.