PCSSD Gets 3rd Year On State’s Fiscal Distress List

PULASKI COUNTY- The Arkansas State Board of Education voted to keep control of the Pulaski County Special School District, extending its fiscal distress status by one more year.

Superintendent Dr. Jerry Guess says this isn’t discouraging news. The board originally took control of the district two years ago. Dr. Guess says under his leadership with the Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Tom Kimbrell, the district has made significant strides and things can only get better. “This is very helpful news. This is very positive news. We’ve made great improvements in the 2 years we’ve been working on the fiscal distress issues of the district, but this gives us a chance to continue to make changes.”

PCSSD is gearing up to hire nearly 200 positions from employee retirement or resignation. Dr. Guess says the goal is stay on course and concentrate on improving safety and technology, making upgrades for the students’ environment. “Parents really need to understand another year if fiscal distress is an opportunity to continue in the right direction.”

Rodney Dardenne has had children in the district for 6 years and says he would rather have a school board of elected positions representing the people, but he also says he hasn’t been impressed by previous board leadership.
“I’m excited about this. I think Dr. Guess and his team are doing an extremely good job based on the finances we have. We’re having to fight back from years of fiscal irresponsibility.” 

Dardenne hopes more parents will get involved and support the efforts the district is making. “Stay engaged. You can’t sit on the sidelines.”

PCSSD’s enrollment increased this year by 400 students, and Dr. Guess expects to see continued growth for the 2013-14 school year.

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