(LAS VEGAS CBS KXNT) In a contentious meeting that saw both sides walk out at some point, the Clark County School District Board of trustees voted on Wednesday evening to adopt a final budget that reflects the impending layoffs of more than one thousand classroom employees.
More than 150 teachers packed the district’s board room, breaking into cheers and applause for speakers who supported their union’s position, or chants and coughing fits to express their disagreement with others.
The board briefly vacated the chamber when teachers began to clap and chant in support of Clark County Education Association President Ruben Murillo, who made a brief speech to the board. Board president Linda Young asked several times for the teachers to come to order. When the audience did not quiet down, the members got up and left the room.
The budget briefing got underway when the board returned.
Less than an hour later, in response to audible comments from the audience during the budget presentation, Young again asked the teachers to come to order. When she instructed them to behave as they would want their students to behave in the classroom, most of the teachers stood up and left the room, breaking into chants as they made their exit into the hallway outside.
Before the vote, some of the trustees expressed disappointment that an acrimonious atmosphere has developed between the district and the union. Young suggested that the union had regressed 25 years.
Outside the building, union President Murillo said the teachers had walked out because they were angry and frustrated. He noted that teacher morale is low.
District spokesperson Amanda Fulkerson told KXNT the district has until the second week of June to finalize the layoff list and distribute pink slips. The process is mandated by contract to give deference to senior teachers. The district would prefer not to use seniority to guide the layoff process, and will ask the union to renegotiate the terms of that provision.