I’m not going to belabor this. Minds are made up. Either you hate the money the state is spending for causing segregation in Pulaski County or you think (small number) there’s justification for its continuation.
But, for the hard-core, and because it’s important, I invite you to read the Little Rock School District’s response to — there’s no other way to put it — dishonest pleading by the state of Arkansas’s Attorney General Dustin McDaniel in arguing for an immediate end to state desegregation aid in Pulaski County.
The Little Rock District has less reserve money than McDaniel claims (and far less than is considered prudent). It receives far less state aid than he intimates under a racial transfer program that is at risk. (McDaniel leaves the impression it is $21 million; it is $4 million). McDaniel thinks two districts officially declared in financial distress — North Little Rock and Pulaski — can pick up the slack if state magnet school funding is cut off. Despite McDaniel’s contrary representations the state budgeting system, in which the district expected funds were already committed, means an INSTANT loss of $34 million, or 10 percent of the school district’s budget.
It was a nutty ruling by Judge Brian Miller, withhout notice or hearing. It’s mind-blowing demagoguery — without regard for harmful impact on parents and at least 5,000 school children whose school assignments are in peril — by Dustin McDaniel in striking to take advantage. Chris Heller and Co., attorneys for LRSD, take the demagogues to lunch.
A simple statement of facts of LRSD financial situation from the chief financial officer.
Even if, on principle, you are ready to leave LRSD in this lurch and screw ’em, don’t believe Dustin McDaniel is telling the truth about it.
Dustin doesn’t care about this criticism, of course. He knows the positive political impact of beating up on the Little Rock School District. Plus, he’s decided to declare himself a prosecutor, breaking years of tradition. He’s going to bring in the press to show off his new “cyber crimes” investigation unit tomorrow. I don’t know if it’s kiddie porn, or what. I get no answers to questions from his highly paid publicity apparatus. But, based on the record so far, you can bet it’s more about scoring political points than substance. Whatever did happen, anyway, to the attorney general division that fought polluting power plants and the extreme new costs they threw on Arkansas ratepayers? The division that fought Medicaid fraud (by providers)? MIA in the McDaniel era.