League of Women Voters undecided so far on LR school tax vote | Arkansas Blog

Friday, March 31, 2017

League of Women Voters undecided so far on LR school tax vote

Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 10:54 AM

The League of Women Voters, a traditional supporter of school taxes, says it is undecided on the vote May 9 to extend 12.4 mills of taxes for 14 years in the Little Rock School District to finance various construction projects, at a cost to taxpayers of at least a half-billion dollars.

So it will have a debate on the tax at a general meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 10, at the Hall High School media center. NOTE I DIDN'T MAKE CLEAR ORIGINALLY THAT IT WAS APRIL 10, NOT THIS COMING MONDAY.

Reason for its reluctance: Control of LRSD by state Education Commissioner Johnny Key.

Key has backed legislation to force the district to sell buildings to charter schools on unfavorable terms. He has fought legislation to put a moratorium on charter schools in the city, already full of them, while the district is under state control.

By his actions, Key has essentially said, in essence:

We must continue to expand charter school seats in Little Rock so children can escape the failing schools I run. And, oh, by the way, give me a half-billion dollars to fix up buildings that the district, with continuing declining enrollment, might have to sell to still more charter schools that my department doesn't hold to the same standards it holds Little Rock.

Said the League:

There are many citizens concerned about this proposal. And any are undecided. The League has traditionally supported all millage votes, because we have always strongly supported public education. However, this is different because the district is under the control of the Arkansas State Board of Education.

We have invited Stacy Sells to speak for the issue and Dr. Jim Ross to speak against the measure, There will be time for questions for our speakers from the audience. This as a public meeting, but the LWVPC members will be given a ballot. We can decide to publicly support the issue, not support the issue, or not take a stand, and let everyone decide one their own.

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