Kurrus launches 'Straight Talk' column | Arkansas Blog

Monday, May 18, 2015

Kurrus launches 'Straight Talk' column

Posted By on Mon, May 18, 2015 at 5:22 PM

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New Little Rock Superintendent Baker Kurrus has launched a weekly online column called "Straight Talk." In the first edition, Kurrus can't sleep. His mind is racing too much. The LRSD has "organizational weaknesses," he writes. That can improve, he says, with better management, more communication and more authority bestowed down the organizational ladder. Many schools don't have a positive working atmosphere. He wants to focus on school culture and climate. 

He also talks about needing to cut spending to offset the coming end of state desegregation payments. 

We must align our income with our spending. We have a strong tax base, and a substantial millage rate of 46.4 mills. We need to cut about $40 million in spending. We receive our state funding under a matrix which provides levels of funding for various positions, based on enrollment. We must align our spending to this matrix. This will result in a much leaner district. In order to balance our budget, we will need to spend our money generally in accordance with the rules under which we receive it. We really do not have much choice. This is going to be a difficult process, but we can do it together. We will not be able to afford to fund positions which the state does not fund, and we will be required to operate generally under the same assumptions which are used when our revenues are allocated. These metrics apply to other districts, and we can be successful under them. If you have a money-saving idea about how we can do our work more efficiently, please send it to me.

Read the whole things here

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