At a press conference today, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced he will allocate $3 million of his discretionary funds for Teach for America over the next three years. Another $3 million will come from donors in Little Rock to hire TFA teachers in the LRSD specifically.
The 74,000 square foot former Leisure Arts office building will house classroom space for some 300 sixth graders beginning this fall. However, by the 2017-18 school year, the district plans to have completed renovations on the much larger building next door — a 175,000 square foot warehouse — that will serve as a permanent home for the new middle school.
Baker Kurrus' announcement this afternoon that the district is moving forward with two new facilities projects is among the most significant development in the LRSD since the district was taken over by the state in January.
About 75 people turned out at the central offices of the Little Rock School District this afternoon to hold a "wake for democracy." Meanwhile, the state awaits release of testing data for the 2014-15 school year.
As part of his monthly report before the state Board of Education this morning, Little Rock School District Superintendent Baker Kurrus asked the panel to consider the practical impact on the LRSD of two proposed expansions of existing charter schools in Little Rock, eStem and LISA Academy.
On her widely read blog, education reform critic Diane Ravitch today endorses a polemic by Barclay Key about the travails of the Little Rock School District. Key is one of the plaintiffs suing the State Board of Education over its January 28 takeover of the LRSD.
From what we know of the proposal offered to LREA, the union will maintain its status as a local with exclusive negotiating rights on salary and benefits, but the terms of the existing contract regarding working conditions will go by the wayside.
Thanks to a federal grant to expand preschool programs, the LRSD will be able to open an additional 15 pre-K classrooms for 4-year-old children from income-eligible families in the 2015-16 school year, despite the coming loss of tens of millions in state desegregation money.
As predicted here, the City Board of Directors voted against an ordinance to require new police officer hires to be residents of Little Rock. The vote was 6 to 4, with Directors Erma Hendrix, who introduced the ordinance; Ken Richardson, Doris Wright and Kathy Webb voting for passage. Webb's vote kept the board from dividing along racial lines on the ordinance.
The Little Rock City Board demonstrated last night some surprising sentiment in support of a residency requirement for Little Rock cops. That won't solve problems in a city too ready to blame schools (many of them excellent) for city problems linked more to race and economics.
Former Little Rock School Superintendent Dexter Suggs' witch hunt against some staff members at Jefferson Elementary led directly to his abrupt departure from the school district, so here is a worthy postscript — an action in the matter by current Superintendent Baker Kurrus.
Around noon today, a small group of protesters gathered in front of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce to point out the influence of local business leaders in the state's decision to take over the Little Rock School District in January.
Thursday evening's Rockefeller Elementary PTA meeting with new Little Rock School District Superintendent Baker Kurrus and Associate Superintendent Marvin Burton marked a striking shift in LRSD public relations.
Something's up. The State Board of Education has announced a special meeting at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 5. The lone agenda item concerns a request for a waiver of state law regarding the Little Rock School District.
In this week's Arkansas Times, we profile our 21st class of Academic All-Stars — 20 Arkansas high school seniors with undeniably remarkable scholastic achievements. Let's add a note of recognition for another group of other scholars who've accomplished impressive things: Students in the English as a Second Language program at Hall High.
A Little Rock School District middle school teacher sends a photo of the Arkansas history texts used in the schools' classes. They are barely hanging together. The teacher has been told to suck it up and make do. There is no money for book purchases. The money being paid Dexter Suggs to go away could have bought some.
Arkansas Community Organizations has issued a statement calling on the state Board of Education to give Little Rock back its school board. It said the removal of the School Board, while keeping Dexter Suggs in charge, has proved a bad idea — as action recommended by the chamber of commerce often is.
Politico reports that Kathleen Harrington Kennedy Townsend says former Republican President George H.W. Bush is voting for Hillary Clinton for president. The article quotes a Bush spokesman as declining to confirm or deny.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is an Arkansas Republican. Thus, like the governor and the Republican-majority legislature, she intends to do everything she can to deny women comprehensive medical care, particularly abortion.
No two presidential candidates since polling began have run up negatives as massive as those of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, who yet won their parties' nominations easily. "What gives?" may be the biggest political mystery in history.