Rep.-elect Tippi McCullough Brian Chilson

State Rep. Vivian Flowers (D-Pine Bluff) and state Rep.-elect Tippi McCullough (D-Little Rock) have released statements decrying expected moves by the State Board of Education to waive educational laws in the Little Rock and Pine Bluff school districts, both of which are under state control.

You can stream the seemingly interminable State Board meeting here. It’s well behind on the agenda, though at 3:50, it was getting closer to consideration of agenda items related to the Pine Bluff District.

On Thursday afternoon the state Board of Education is expected to consider measures to waive certain education standards for two school districts under state control. One agenda item could eliminate existing due process rights for our teachers in the districts. Another waiver, for the Pine Bluff School District, includes waiving certain teaching license standards.

State Representative-elect Tippi McCullough (Little Rock) is an educator at Central High School and supports workplace protections for good teachers, “The people dedicating their lives to educating our children deserve our support. Unfortunately, the state is instead taking steps that seek to place the blame on teachers and to weaken their position in the classroom. It’s time to show some respect, and to protect Arkansans who choose to go into the classroom. That’s the path to a good education for our children.”

The waiver is being sought in Little Rock while the LRSD is under state control. Pine Bluff schools are also without local control.

State Representative Vivian Flowers (Pine Bluff) is an advocate for quality education and Pine Bluff schools, “Arkansas needs to do everything we can to support our students and our teachers in our traditional public schools, with at least adequate resources. Our educators shouldn’t be made to feel vulnerable in the classroom and should be rewarded for excellence. We don’t need to set policies that hamper their abilities or the abilities of the Arkansas Education Association to help support and strengthen the teaching profession.”