Johnny Key gives Michael Poore two-year contract | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Johnny Key gives Michael Poore two-year contract

Posted By on Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 5:03 PM

click to enlarge TWO MORE YEARS: For Michael Poore in LRSD. Just don't try to ask his boss Johnny Key why.  He doesn't answer to the people. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • TWO MORE YEARS: For Michael Poore in LRSD. Just don't try to ask his boss Johnny Key why. He doesn't answer to the people.

Like Michael Poore as Little Rock School District superintendent or not, you are stuck with him. Education Commissioner Johnny Key, who acts as school board during state receivership of the district, has given Poore a contract extension through June 30, 2019 at the same $225,000 pay and significant benefits.

CORRECTION TO ORIGINAL POST: He had a year left on his contract and the extension adds year, not two years.

Key hired Poore after firing Baker Kurrus for objecting to Key's advocacy for wholesale expansion of district-damaging charter schools. Poore has not been so nearly outspoken on charters. But he does seem more competent than the two superintendents who preceded Kurrus' short stint (one of whom the state wanted to keep until he was revealed to be a plagiarist.)

But here's the thing: Again Johnny Key speaks to voters in the school district he controls only by news release, as he did yesterday when he took Gov. Asa Hutchinson's orders and politely told Board of Education member Jay Barth he could stuff his resolution to ask the state Board of Education to allow the district to begin electing a real school board again in May 2018.

Key wants more than a half-billion dollars in expanded property tax authority in Little Rock to pour into facilities (not those he's decided to close). He wants voters to approve this taxation without representation May 9. He wants to control the money. He won't talk to the public about it. They can talk to the hand. Or Michael Poore. He is accessible, even if he's only able to do what Johnny Key approves.

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