Proposal to return full, local control of Little Rock School District


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Today at a news conference with members of the Little Rock Board of Directors, Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. outlined his proposal to reestablish local control of the Little Rock School District (LRSD) as well as new plans to create comprehensive City of Little Rock programs to support children and families.

Watch Mayor Scott’s weekly video update to hear about the full plan:

“Little Rock’s children are our most precious assets. We must ensure that we are unified in creating a clear path to help every child in every school in every neighborhood succeed,” Mayor Scott said. “Today’s actions, including the support of members of the City of Little Rock Board of Directors, affirms Little Rock’s position will do what it takes so that our students receive a world-class education.”

Mayor Scott has asked the State Board of Education to take up the following proposals and pass them at its Oct. 10 meeting:
— Full and complete local control of all LRSD schools,
— A temporary, transition school board from January 2020 until a locally elected school board is seated, with elections taking place in the November 2020 general election,
— A “Transition Board” comprised of local community appointments and State Board appointments,
— And schools in the “F” category operated by the LRSD under a memorandum of understanding with the Arkansas Department of Education and the City of Little Rock.

The aforementioned schools would be known as “community schools,” where wrap-around services aimed at both students and their families would address systemic poverty that grips certain Little Rock neighborhoods. In addition, the City will hire a Chief Education Officer (CEdO) by Jan. 1 to coordinate the major undertaking of connecting City, LRSD, and state involvement regarding education, equity, and support for children and families.

As formulated at our Education Roundtable in September, the City of Little Rock will strengthen its partnership with the LRSD to improve the long-term achievement of our students, including:
— Holistic care for our youngest residents, prenatal through age five,
— Free pre-K,
— Out-of-school and summer enrichment and remediation for students who need help to reach grade level as well as students who are seeking additional challenges,
— Increased access to social and emotional learning and literacy initiatives,
— And partnerships to give Little Rock residents access to workforce development and skills training.

“I appreciate Mayor Scott’s proposal and thoughtful approach to a very difficult issue. This is the kind of input the State Board members hoped to receive when they asked for community feedback on the next steps for LRSD. I am open to having conversations with the State Board about the proposal to find areas of agreement while balancing the responsibility of the state.”

Secretary Johnny Key’s Statement Regarding Mayor Scott’s Proposal

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