LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Little Rock School District supporters have been protesting since the state took it over about a year and a half ago because of academic distress. Those protests started ramping up after the state announced it was replacing the District’s superintendent last month.
Supports are holding protests, meetings, even legislative hearings on the issue. It’s really got heated up in the last few weeks after charter expansion and the announcement of the new LRSD superintendent. Not much movement has been made, but supports say it doesn’t stop the message they’re sending.
Another meeting being held talking about the state of Arkansas controlling the largest school district in the state.
“This impacts not just the schools, but it also impacts the communities and the neighborhoods,” said VP Parker, a father of five.
Parker’s kids are either students or graduates of LRSD. He says since the state took over the district last year it’s been anything but consistent.
“More instability and so what that means for me as a parent, and for my kids, is uncertainty,” he said.
Parker joins hundreds of others that are passionate about trying to convince Governor Asa Hutchinson and Education Commissioner Johnny Key to give local control back to the district. Even though not much movement has been made.
“Do I think that it will change their mind? Over time I think it will,” he asked.
“We want to see the state respond to the concerns that we have,” said former LRSD school board president Greg Adams.
Adams says even though those in charge haven’t changed decisions, they are eager.
“We hope that the community is speaking loudly and clearly that the people in power will really consider those concerns,” said Adams.
They say they will continue to speak out until the message is received.
“Do we have enough voices to change Commissioner Key’s mind? I think what we have right now works, but I’m always looking for more voices,” said Parker.