Lack of Confidence
Superintendent Resignation Demanded

The group that organized the successful effort to defeat the September Washoe County School Bond this week demanded the resignation of Mary Nebgen, the district's superintendent of schools.
Citizens Associated for Responsible Education in our Schools (CARES) cited a lack of confidence in the ability of the district staff and present school board to oversee an independent management performance audit of district operations.
The independent audit was part of an agreement CARES negotiated with local business groups, including the Greater Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce before the September primary election vote. The agreement was in return for CARES agreeing to support the school district's $196 million bond issue proposal.
The Washoe County School Board at its Sept 24 meeting approved a request for proposals from firms interest in performing an audit of the district's management and operations. However, CARES said that school board departed from the pre-primary agreement by allowing the school administration to seek proposals and conduct the audit outside of the fiscal advisory committee process.
"The school board's decision is in direct conflict with the intent and language of the agreement," said CARES chairperson Jim Clark.
"When we made the agreement, it was with the clear understanding that the management performance audit would be done in a manner which provided some assurances that it would be fair, independent and unbiased.
"It now appears that the district's administration,
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with the approval of the school board, is attempting to subvert the process."
Clark said that rumors have been circulating since the voter defeat of the primary election ballot question that the district had no intent to live up to the terms of the agreement with CARES and some local business groups. However, he said, CARES felt it was necessary to let the school board process proceed to give the district a chance to show what its intent really is.
School board candidate Sharon Angle, who is battling board chairman Bob Bentley for the northwest Reno District E seat, told the school board Thursday that its request for audit proposals is not calling for an audit per se but rather a consulting process where the firm assesses the district from a managerial perspective.
Assistant superintendent of operations Paul Fleming said that though the process will involve consulting services, it is being called a management and operations audit to keep it simple for the public.
School board trustees allocated up to $300,000 for the process Tuesday.


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