Save Our Schools rips school closure decision | Arkansas Blog

Friday, February 10, 2017

Save Our Schools rips school closure decision

Posted By on Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 12:59 PM

UNMOVED: Johnny Key heard impassioned pleas to keep Wilson Elementary open. He decided against it.
  • UNMOVED: Johnny Key heard impassioned pleas to keep Wilson Elementary open. He decided against it.

The Save Our Schools coalition has issued a statement criticizing Education Commissioner Johnny Key's expected approval of school closure decisions recommended by his Little Rock school superintendent, Michael Poore.

Franklin, Wilson and Woodruff will be closed as budget-cutting moves. Said SOS:

We, the members of the Save Our Schools coalition, wholeheartedly reject Commissioner Key’s decision to close Franklin and Wilson Elementary Schools, Woodruff Early Childhood Center, and move Hamilton Learning Academy. We reject any decisions made by unelected officials who ignore community concerns and neglect the consequences on vulnerable students in low-income and marginalized neighborhoods. Our coalition will continue to engage with lawmakers, district officials, and community members until this decision is reversed and the local school board is restored.

We are firm in our convictions that ALL children and ALL parents in the LRSD matter to us. We stand together in solidarity to say that ALL neighborhoods should be respected. Those in power blatantly disrespect parents’ choice to send our kids to these public schools and then seek to impose their own prescribed ‘choices’ for our kids. They threaten our neighborhoods’ security and protection by attacking the schools that serve vital and irreplaceable roles in keeping the community safe, healthy, and connected. This attack on our children, on our safety and well-being by unaccountable state government and powerful special interests will not succeed.

In this 60th anniversary year of the desegregation of schools, we honor the work of Mrs. Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine by committing to continue our resistance to the destruction and re-segregation of our schools.

Until the locally elected school board is restored, we will continue to challenge the illegitimate decisions made by unelected officials and we will continue to fight any attempts to undermine the viability of our public schools and our neighborhoods. We are not going away. 
Key has made plain in his limited communications with residents of the Little Rock School District that local control will not be returned until the district has no schools in academic distress. It was taken over because six of 48 schools carried that label, based on the percentage of students judged proficient on standardized tests. The number is now down to three. They happen to be schools made up almost entirely of poor, minority students and include high percentages of special ed and non-English-speaking students. They also must count students assigned to alternative schools in their test score rankings. In short, they are schools that face big challenges. If they were charter schools, they would be forgiven by the state Board of Education and continued to allow to operate freely. But there are special rules for Little Rock School District. If not this year, Key's willingness to turn the district over to private operators, as the Walton Family Foundation has long wanted, soon will come to flower.

In the meanwhile, remember the lack of voice  and the damaging designs on the district by those who also want local voters to approve a half-billion dollars in additional property taxes to improve the facilities that Key would be happy to seen privatized on the Walton model.

IN A SOMEWHAT RELATED DEVELOPMENT: The Youth and College Division of the NAACP says it will sponsor a gathering of youth, community leaders, politicians and educators on Feb. 19 to organize a response to threats expected from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Republican congress. The event includes the Mrs. Daisy Lee Bates March on Arkansas for Education at 3 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Capitol.

The goal is "a new era of activism and protest."

“We are faced with a moral and ethical crisis during this critical time in our nation’s history after the election of Donald J. Trump,’ said Chris Kingsby, President of the Arkansas State NAACP Youth & College Division. It is time for nonviolent resistance, he said.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Downtown bank branch robbed

    A man handed a teller a note demanding money and made off with an undetermined amount in a robbery of the U.S. Bank branch at Capitol Avenue and Broadway about 3:15 p.m. today.
    • Feb 20, 2018
  • SWEPCO announces agreement on wind energy project

    Southwestern Electric Power, which serves customers in Arkansas, has announced an agreement with Arkansas parties for the Wind Catcher Energy Connection to deliver power generated by wind on Oklahoma wind farms to customers in Arkansas.
    • Feb 20, 2018
  • Candidates respond to Little Rock suit to block mayoral fund-raising

    The city of Little Rock's lawsuit aiming at using a city ordinance to limit fund-raising by two men challenging Mayor Mark Stodola gets legal responses from the challengers today.
    • Feb 20, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Deputy killed, police chief wounded in Sebastian County. Suspect in custody

    40/29 TV reports that two law officers were shot about 7 a.m. today near Hackett in Sebastian County and at mid-afternoon came word that one of them had died. Later in the day a suspect was taken into custody in the shooting.
    • Aug 10, 2016
  • Sabin's subterfuge in the race for mayor has roots in rigged city government

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that an ethics complaint has been filed saying that the exploratory committee Rep. Warwick Sabin created to prepare for a run for Little Rock mayor was a subterfuge to avoid the city ordinance that doesn't allow campaign fundraising to begin until five months before the November 2018 election.Of course it is.
    • Aug 10, 2017
  • Speaking of the Clinton Foundation: Returns in maize and beans

    A reporter for Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking organization, sent a reporter to Africa to see where money given to the Clinton Foundation has been put to work. He found tangible results.
    • Sep 6, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Tuesday open line

    • It is disturbing to see the extremes the conservative media will go to in order…

    • on February 20, 2018
  • Re: A 4th Democratic candidate for 2nd District Congress

    • Yes, Baker, it shows that she is an astute little girl who is aware of…

    • on February 20, 2018
  • Re: The kids are marching open line

    • Some supposedly "adult commentators" are suggesting that mere children can't possibly organize such an event…

    • on February 20, 2018
 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation