I should have stayed up all night. One reader kept watch and noted the Little Rock School Board’s 4-3 decision late last night to suspend Superintendent Roy Brooks (shown here with Board member Baker Kurrus at an earlier board meeting). It adds a complicating wrinkle to the mess and the action was immediately questioned on procedural grounds. It seems likely the suspension can’t occur without five days’ notice and a hearing.

If the board majority is intent on removing Brooks — and they are — it still seems to me the quickest, cleanest way is to buy out his contract. Board President Katherine Mitchell remains convinced he should be fired for cause, with no further pay. But there are large benefits in removing a source of friction. This might be a good time to mention that some who oppose Brooks have been saying that state law might be interepreted to prevent contract buyouts. I can only say that they’ve been used repeatedly without challenge to remove school superintendents, in Little Rock and many other districts.

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The school board approved 5-0, with Mitchell and Charles Armstrong abstaining, bringing in Ron Lanoue, former director of the National Conference of Christians and Jews in Arkansas, to lead sessions on communications among members. It is going to be hard to communicate while fighting, as Kurrus noted..

I’ll have to wait until daylight to find out more about public commenters, discussions on a new school in west Little Rock and other school topics. (Now I see the board did move ahead with plans for a Highway 10 site for a new school. If there was any discussion about the grades to be offered there, it wasn’t mentioned in the daily paper.)

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