|Updated: 10/18/2012 8:36 pm
||Published: 10/18/2012 8:35 pm
The Pulaski County Special School District presented its annual report to the public Thursday night.
The Arkansas Department of Education dissolved the school board in June of 2011. Since then, Commissioner Dr. Tom Kimbrell and Superintendent Dr. Jerry Guess have been working to get the district out of fiscal distress.
The district give the public a report on the improvements being made since being placed under fiscal distress and taken over by the state.
Dr. Guess says significant improvements are underway. "We've made changes to the budget and to the curriculum. The next challenge is to continue to make dramatic gains in the future."
Less than a dozen people turned out to hear the district present its annual report. Patricia Goodman has children in the district and felt it was important to come to the meeting. "I was actually shocked more people weren't here. I wasn't sure I was in the right place. I thought I would have trouble finding a place to park, and that wasn't the case."
The district reports enrollment is up, test scores are improving, and much needed repairs to aging facilities are in progress. Dr. Guess says $7.5 million in facility projects was spent over the summer and another $4 million will be coming out of the building fund for the next construction phase.
Goodman says she's mostly worried how the new Common Core curriculum is being implemented. "There are still a lot of things up in the air and a lot of unsettled feelings on the part of the parents as well as the educators."
Dr. Guess says the district produced a balanced budget and proposes to grow it by half a million dollars.
The district will be under fiscal distress until at least the end of this school year. It's up to the state to determine when the district is ready to appoint a new school board. So far there is no indication yet when what will happen.