Among other confusion that arose during Friday’s Little Rock School Board meeting was the question of a public hearing for Superintendent Roy Brooks should the board decide to fire him.

I now have a copy of the contract. If the board decides to fire him for cause, he must be given the reasons in writing and then he may request a hearing before an impartial hearing officer. He must receive 30 days’ notice of the hearing and is afforded due process, including the ability to present and cross-examine witnesses. Ultimately, the board must vote on whether the charges are sustained.

A firing for cause, in other words, would set off more than a month of further wrangling, perhaps ending in the same outcome.

However, the board can opt to terminate the terminate the superintendent and pay the balance owed on the contract. In that case, “the requirement of the hearing before the board shall be waived by the superintendent.”


An easier, but more expensive route.

Note that Brooks has a bit more than two years to run on his contract. But one of those years comes courtesy of an extension voted by the school board shortly before September’s school election, when there were indications the balance of power might change.