State Board of Education proposal to return LRSD to local control doesn’t sit well with some parents

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- The governor says the Arkansas State Board of Education adopted a framework for a policy to return the Little Rock school district to local control.

The state took over LRSD in January of 2015 but according to Governor Asa Hutchinson the schools could soon be back in local control with a few schools that still receive support from the state.

Parents who turned up at the capitol Monday but were not allowed into a press conference expressed concern with the proposal.

“I really don’t understand why parts of the community are being treated differently than other parts,” says Ali Noland, a parent with a first grader in LRSD.

Noland says she’s supportive of the district and loves the teachers but is unhappy with the way the governor and state board of education are handling the issue of local control.

“This is something that should be decided by a locally elected school board,” says Noland.

Many parents who turned up at the capitol believe the proposal is discriminatory.

“Under this plan I would have a say using the democratic process in the governance of my own children’s school while [Vicki] would not,” says Noland. “There is no reason to treat us differently.”

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we are rolling back time 62 years ago,” says Vicki Hatter, who is also an LRSD parent. Hatter says she is disheartened at what appears to be an unfair proposal.

“We deserve one district,” says Hatter. “Not a three tier district, not a segregated district, not a district with two leaderships. We deserve one whole district and a duly elected school board.”

Governor Hutchinson rejected any suggestion that this is a re-segregation of the district saying those claims are not based on facts. He went on to say it is the state’s responsibility according to the Constitution and Supreme Court to make sure those struggling schools have support.


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