LRSD works to move forward on local control, teachers and parents raise concerns

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Little Rock School District (LRSD) is moving forward to work with teachers without a union.

It was last week that the State Board of Education voted to stop recognizing the teachers union in a decision that is causing a lot of frustration.

On Thursday, several LRSD board members took a stand, saying they want to work with teachers and make them happy with the transition back to local control.

Parents and teachers gathered Thursday night to give the community advisory board their two cents.

The board is looking at how they’re going to set up a personnel policy for teachers.

It’s something they have to do because once the union goes so does the contract they had for teachers.

They’re now having to form a committee that will set basics like sick time and negotiate teacher salaries.

Everyone who came up talked about wanting to keep the union.

But one board member spoke out, saying what they’re working towards could make something even better for teachers.

“The number one part of the fight to improve our school district is our teachers and it is critical that they be taken care of and that they be treated with the upmost respect,” said Jeff Wood, LRSD Community Advisory Board.

The board wrapped up themeeting saying they’re going to reach out to the union and try and pull teachers to gauge what they want to see in their policies going forward.

While the meeting was going on inside, protesters where outside the building holding what they called their own school board meeting.

Three former school board members who are ousted because of the state takeover, spoke to a small crowd.

They were calling for a lot of things, like raising pay for teachers.

We spoke to one parent who said she’s concerned that if teachers aren’t happy they’re going to walk and that will affect her child’s education.

“They’re going to keep pushing back, they’re going to keep trying to hold us down but we are the people and this is our district we pay for it with our tax dollars so no I will not be quiet, I will not back down,” said Veronica McClaine.

Protesters were so loud they could be heard from inside the board meeting.

The union contract is up at the end of the month.

The next step will be forming a committee that will put together these policies for teachers.

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