Hot dogging rural schools | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hot dogging rural schools

Posted By on Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 10:24 AM

I mentioned yesterday that Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Keet would be at a news conference this morning in defense of small schools.

It's all about Weiner, the small Northeast Arkansas district merged on account of inadequate size with neighboring Harrisburg.

Jonesboro Sun reports Keet will share the podium today with Jim Holt. Holt didn't appear, however. Other speakers will say preservation of Weiner is key to preservation of the family farm and preservation of the family farm is essential to the security and welfare of the very nation. Really.

Keet said Democratic land commissioner nominee L.J. Bryant had been expected, but was unable to attend. Keet said Bryant shared his views, however. Critcher-to-Wooldridge-to-Morrison-to Keet. Quite a lineup of allies for a "progressive."

There's talk of a lawsuit, but perhaps because the legal ground appears shaky, there was more talk about getting the governor to structure some kind of relief for Weiner.

Roby Brock quotes Gov. Mike Beebe as being sympathetic to the Weiner supporters, but said the state Board of Education process doesn't include a waiver for districts.

Check the jump for more, including a recap of some of the comments made by the speakers and description of how this event got a little weird at the end.

As expected, every speaker argued that keeping the Weiner school district open was about "protecting American values." Republican state senate candidate Jason Raypert said the consolidation of some small school districts had been a disaster and that "Weiner is about to become the victim of a bureaucratic mistake."

Keet basically echoed the remarks linked above from his campaign website. The Republican candidate for governor said there must be some solution to the eventual closing of the school district, suggesting an exception could be made since Weiner only has 342 students (instead of the required 350) because the school was performing so well.

Things did get a little weird when, in her closing remarks, co-chair of the Friends of Weiner school district Greta Greeno told the audience that keeping the school district open was a matter of national security, citing a Homeland Security report that discussed the potential threat of biological weapons and the possibility that terrorists could use the food supply as a weapon against us. This left more than a few people in the room scratching their heads. To say the connection she was trying to make was tenuous would be perhaps a little too generous.

Keet told reporters after the press conference (see video above) that this was not "bash Mike Beebe day" and that he was simply there to show support for the school. He said he wasn't calling on Beebe for anything specific but thought the matter should be brought up in the next legislative session. He also said that he did not want to "denigrate" the work of people from both sides of the isle, including one "Republican governor" for their work on the Public Education Reorganization Act, or Act 60.

Advocates of the school district urged the legislature and Gov. Beebe to come up with some sort of solution and to make an exception for the school district.

Tags: , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (16)

Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016
  • Is Arkansas in or out on Kobach voter data effort?

    The Washington Post has published a map that counts Arkansas as among states that will "partially comply" with a sweeping request for voter data by the so-called election integrity commission set up by Donald Trump in an effort to cast doubt on Hillary Clinton's 3 million-vote popular defeat of him in 2016.
    • Jul 2, 2017
  • Charter school accountability: Non-existent in Arkansas

    A state audit finds charter school spending violated state law, but the state Education Department says it has no responsibility for ensuring proper management of charter schools. Say what?
    • Mar 5, 2016

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.
  • Lynchings hidden in the history of the Hot Springs Confederate monument

    Hot Springs twice erupted into the kind of violence that has its roots in the issues left unresolved by the Civil War, and both times, it happened right where that monument to Confederate soldiers stands today.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation