Lawmakers suggest board of education overhaul |

Lawmakers suggest board of education overhaul

The legislative committee studying the state’s K-12 public education system voted Thursday to recommend a complete restructuring of the Board of Education.

Under the unanimously approved plan, the current board of 10 elected members would be replaced with a commission with four elected and three appointed voting members and three non-voting members, including a student.

Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, said it’s important to ensure that a majority of the board still consists of elected members.

The plan doesn’t specifically say so, but each of the elected members would represent one of the four congressional districts Nevada is expected to have after reapportionment. The plan would take effect in the 2012 general elections. Those elected would serve four-year terms.

The governor, Senate majority leader and Assembly speaker would each appoint one of the three voting members. Committee chairman Assemblywoman Bonnie Parnell, D-Carson City, said they would include a business person, a teacher and a parent since parents often feel left out of the process.

Sen. Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas, said it’s important to include business in the process of trying to improve Nevada’s public schools.

Cegavske also ensured that charter school teachers, parents and officials are eligible for those appointments.

The panel also voted to strengthen the authority of the state superintendent of education to make local districts follow state education law and rules.

Superintendent Keith Rheault said there is a “gray area” between where the local boards have power and his office has the control.

Horsford said the superintendent needs the power to “oversee all laws relating to education and, where there is non-compliance, correct it.”

The recommendations will be presented to the 2011 Legislature for review.