State gives partial local control back to LRSD

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The State Board of Education has voted to return local control to the Little Rock School District with limited authority.

The Little Rock School District has been under state control since January of 2015.

Today the state board voted to return local control to LRSD by having a nine-member elected school board with limited authority depending on the grade level of each school. Additional talks are needed to see what local control will look like.

The Commissioner of the State Board of Education has proposed to de-certify the Little Rock Education Association, the Little Rock Teacher’s Union, which was something that was not on the agenda. The commission has decided to table that vote until their October meeting.

State Senator Joyce Elliott says that this will divide the city and schools.

“Most of the people, most of the city will have a regular school board they will be treated one way and one part of the city, where I live and where many people look like me live, and we will still be under the auspicious of somebody else that we have no idea who that is and that’s the third group in the middle that under some kind of reconfiguration that we don’t know what that is.”

The state argues that this is only a framework of what limited control will look like can be hashed out in the weeks and months to come.

The Little Rock Education Association president tells the commission if there is ‘disruption’ on Monday, the community will be behind the teachers.

Education Secretary Johnny Key released the following statement:

“Today the State Board of Education took action that is in the best interest of students who attend the Little Rock School District. The board did not make this decision lightly, as evidenced by the countless hours each member spent listening to public feedback, responding to numerous emails, and asking detailed questions. I commend the board for its diligence, for weighing all the facts, and for ultimately making a decision that balances local control and the constitutional responsibility of the state. I stand behind the board’s decision and am committed to implementing this framework with students at the forefront of all future efforts.”

Johnny Key, Education Secretary

Governor Asa Hutchinson has issued the following statement in response to the State Board of Education’s decision to adopt a reconstitution framework for the Little Rock School District.

“I applaud the State Board of Education for providing a framework for the election of a Little Rock School Board. This is an important step in the return to local control with continued support from the state. The Board has been attentive to the public meetings on the future of the LRSD and has set forth a framework that puts the children first and gives our students the best opportunity for success in the future.”

Gov. Asa Hutchinson

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