LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Little Rock School District board members voted to approve their future Superintendent, Jermall Wright’s contract.

The board voted unanimously in favor of Wright’s contract which runs through 2025. 

Wright’s annual salary will be $240,000. 

The compensation under this contract will be based on 260 days of service over an entire school year.

LRSD school board president, Greg Adams says the pay is fitting as the district is the second-largest and most complex in the state.

“He is going to be one of the highest-paid Superintendents in the state,” said Adams. 

Also, “in the contract, there is potential for an increase or bonuses in the years to come when we work together with him about some particular goals.”

Wright will be replacing Mike Poore, who’s led LRSD for 10 years.

Poore accomplished getting the LR School District out of state control and increasing teacher starting salaries to $45,000. Poore says one thing that needs improvement are reading scores.  

“We’ve got to have 3rd graders reading at grade level and we still have too many that haven’t achieved that,” said Poore.  

Wright is currently serving as Superintendent of Schools for the Mississippi Achievement School District, which serves the two lowest-performing school districts in the state: Yazoo City and Humphreys County Schools.

In Mississippi, Wright improved graduation rates from 71% to 86% in Yazoo City and from 74% to 87% in Humphreys County.

Prior to the Mississippi Achievement School District, Wright served as Chief Academic and Accountability Officer in Birmingham Public Schools, where he was responsible for improving student achievement.

Wright decreased the number of F-rated schools from 22 to 6 and the number of C-rated schools or above from 6 to 17.  

He also served as Instructional Superintendent in Denver Public Schools where he made great academic improvements there. 

“I think that’s his intent. To come in here and really make sure that’s the focus as this district moves forward,” said Poore.

Poore officially started with LRSD on July 1, 2016, while the school district was under state control.

School ratings were suspended for the 2019 to 2021 school years.

The state control was due to low test scores at six of the district’s 48 schools.

The Arkansas State Board of Education kept control for six and a half years, finally releasing LRSD from level 5 intensive support last July.