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Parents Push to Draft Jim Rogers as Superintendent

LAS VEGAS -- More than 7,000 parents signed petitions supporting Jim Rogers as interim Clark County superintendent. The Las Vegas businessman and former university chancellor says he's open to taking the job, but district officials say they don't need him.

Rogers says he has goals if he becomes interim superintendent, but no specific plans. He has knowledge of how high education works, but hasn't been to a school board meeting in months. And Rogers faces a potential conflict of interest involving the school board president and one of his own employees.

But parents tell the Clark County School Board one clear message: They want Rogers to take over.

If picked as superintendent, Rogers claims he could get up to speed within weeks, despite being thrust into the middle of a union pay fight.

"Yeah, it's enough time. Because the problems in one endeavor are pretty much the same problems," he said.

Despite his previous experience, Rogers hasn't been to a recent school board meeting and hasn't studied the budget numbers. 

"I don't know enough about it. I haven't studied it. In order to do that, I would have to call people and say, 'Send me information,' and then I would be interfering," he said.

School Board President Terri Janison finds herself in a peculiar situation. Her husband, Kevin, works for Rogers-owned KVBC Television. But Rogers says there wouldn't be an issue.

"If there were a problem, that would be handled by other people in the company and they would know that I wouldn't pressure them one way or another," he said. 

Janison and the rest of the school board say an interim superintendent is not needed and stand by their plans to wait for a permanent replacement to current superintendent Walt Rulffes, who is retiring.

But more than 7,000 parents believe there is no better person than Jim Rogers to step in now. It's a recruitment drive Rogers is paying attention to.

"I think we can solve some of these problems. I don't think I can solve them all -- maybe I can't solve any of them. If we came to that conclusion, I would say, I'm gone," he said.

Rogers is also advising Clark County on the controversial UMC issue. He says he's not spreading himself too thin, adding he's willing to work 40 to 60 hours a week if picked as interim superintendent.