The chamber eyes the School Board | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The chamber eyes the School Board

Posted By on Sun, Jul 29, 2007 at 6:32 AM

In my e-mail overnight, this intriguing note from a well-placed source:

click to enlarge unknown.jpg

The Little Rock business community, and most likely with the blessing of the Little Rock Public Education Foundation, believes it has found a school board candidate to run against Michael Daugherty (pictured).  I'm told she is African-American, the mother of two children who attend Rockefeller Elementary and she works for the State Forestry Department. Reportedly, she has been making the rounds talking with various members of the establishment. Let's see how long it takes for someone to send in her name.
In the last school board election, the Chamber of Commerce took a very active role and lost two of three contested races. Many believe the Chamber's  political intervention has made the school situation much worse.

I have several thoughts on this, including a whole-hearted agreement with that last sentence. Another thought: A 501c3 nominally established to work for all children in the Little Rock School District -- and not to serve as a cutout and conduit for the education whims of a handful of billionaires-- ought to stay out of politics. But the Little Rock Public Education Foundation hasn't learned that lesson. It still thinks business executives' unhappiness with the school district is all the fault of John Walker -- not the ham-handed Chamber of Commerce intervention in the last election, Superintendent Roy Brooks' disregard of all but white power brokers or the Public Education Foundation's highly political and sometimes secretive intervention in school affairs.

If the business community has found a candidate, fine. I do wonder if  independent thinking was a trait sought in the recruiting process. Let the election begin. That's how to change the School Board. Not lawsuits, which the self-same business community has been madly encouraging of late as a means of delaying Roy Brooks' departure. That's the first question for this candidate, if she exists: Would she roll back the clock on his planned departure, which all but the irrational believe is necessary at this point? Filing for the September election ends Aug. 6. Daugherty himself has not filed yet, but I expect him to do so.

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