PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. - The Pulaski County Special School District's board has voted down a plan to buy new science books.
Right now, the district is facing a $7 million budget shortfall and is dipping into its reserves to pay for school construction projects.
The science books the district has now are more than a decade old and they don't meet current state standards. The school board voted down a plan to get new books for K-12 at a million dollars in a three-year plan.
Waymond Wade casts a line at a pond in Maumelle. Even though it may be peaceful, he knows the important of learning the science and biology that can help him catch a fish.
That's why he says he wishes the Pulaski County Special School District school board could find a way to get new science textbooks.
"I would want my kids to be able to learn up to date standards and teaching methods, instead of things that are outdated," Wade said.
A plan to buy updated books was voted down at the school board meeting Tuesday night.
"There are tough decisions, but people elected us to make those tough decisions," PCSSD school board vice president Shelby Thomas said.
Thomas says the money is just not there, right now.
"As you know, there's a $7 million dollar deficit that we're looking at and we're still trying shore that up," Wade said.
He says the board is having to work with putting money into construction projects at Mills and Robinson.
"In our past leadership, there were decisions made that weren't very smart, but we were already so far down the road we couldn't turn back," Thomas said.
He says the board is having to make tough decisions to keep the district from going back under fiscal distress.
"We don't want to end up where we were in the past, being taken over by the state, because we didn't make smart decisions for our district," Thomas said.
Wade hopes they find the money so the kids can learn the proper material.
Even though it was voted down, the school board says they are still looking at ways to fund those books. They could vote on it again in the next few weeks.
They say it only takes about two weeks to get the science books. If the board finds the money in the budget, students could have them by the fall.
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