West Little Rock politicians press for expansion of Pinnacle middle school to high school | Arkansas Blog

Monday, November 19, 2018

West Little Rock politicians press for expansion of Pinnacle middle school to high school

Posted By on Mon, Nov 19, 2018 at 1:15 PM

click to enlarge TARGETED FOR HIGH SCHOOL: Former Lesiure Arts building adjacent to Pinnacle View middle school.
  • TARGETED FOR HIGH SCHOOL: Former Lesiure Arts building adjacent to Pinnacle View middle school.
Republican politicians have banded together to push for expansion of the Pinnacle View middle school on Highway 10 into high school grades to serve western Little Rock.

Republican Reps. Andy Davis and Jim Sorvillo and City Director Lance Hines (he holds a nonpartisan office but is Republican) issued a statement today saying they were calling Education Commissioner Johnny Key and Little Rock School Superintendent Michael Poore to add grade nine to Pinnacle in 2019 and add a grade a year until there's a west Little Rock high school.

Key is now the school board for the district in state takeover. Poore answers to him. Key is also a former Republican senator. Hines was among those who favored a state takeover of the district.

Plans for new schools in western Little Rock were slowed by the desegregation lawsuit, in addition to difficulties in finding land for the projects. But eventually Roberts Elementary was built and then the district acquired a former industrial facility off Highway 10 that was used for Pinnacle View while a new school was built. Now it could be used for high school grades, they said.

Davis, who serves a district that also includes the Pulaski County School District, said continuing to add grades at Pinnacle View "can offer a bridge to future collaboration with PCSSD’s Robinson High School, which is only two miles away. It’s past time for our institutions to prioritize the best interests of students over the self interests of adults.”

The politicians said Roberts and Pinnacle View had been successful and, without a nearby high school, neighborhood residents would go to private schools or charter school. A charter school operation in the area is expanding into high school grades.

The politicians tout the diversity of the schools. Roberts and Pinnacle are predominantly white, reflecting the surrounding neighborhoods. The Little Rock School District is majority black.  Neither Davis nor Hines lives in the Little Rock School District, but their districts include some of that territory. Sorvillo does live in the district.

Here's the full news release.

I'm seeking comment from Poore, who's studying vacant district buildings such as the one proposed for an additional Pinnacle View grade. Charter school advocates have been eying it for another charter school under a state law that gives them first call on vacant school district buildings.  UPDATE: He says he'll have something to say next week.

The district is building a new high school in Southwest Little Rock and has plans to reconfigure Hall High School. Central High School remains a magnet for high-performing students. It is now about 32 percent white (not 18, as I originally wrote. That's the racial percentage for the district as a whole, a number comfortably higher in the west Little Rock schools). It is a magnet campus and draws some students from western Little Rock.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


Favorite

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…

  • 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
  • Use of solar on the rise in Arkansas

    With a pivotal ruling expected any day now from the Public Service Commission, Kyle Massey at Arkansas Business reports on the increase in Arkansans adding solar generation units on their homes and business.
    • Apr 13, 2018
  • Antwan Phillips wants to make a difference in reducing Little Rock violence

    KARK/Fox 16's push to do something about Little Rock violence includes a spotlight on people trying to make a difference — in this episode Antwan Phillips, a lawyer at Wright, Lindsey and Jennings.
    • Aug 30, 2017

Slideshows

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation