It’s never too late in a legislative session to rough up the Little Rock School District.
As Sen. Joyce Elliott noted, the legislature is unwilling to approve a sensible bill, SB 553, that would provide a pathway to a return of voter control to the Little Rock School District, for more than four years now a captive of the unproductive state Education Department.
Now comes Sen. Kim Hammer (R-Benton) with SB 668. No, it doesn’t mention Little Rock specifically and there are some other districts in “Level Five” academic distress. But, as Elliott says: “Who cannot figure out who’s the target of this bill?”
Absent a miracle on standardized tests administered in April at a handful of schools wholly populated by impoverished children, the LRSD is not going to be released from state control in January. That means the state may “annex, consolidate or reconstitute” it. Think an army of Walton acolytes with private management companies anxious to take over taxpayer-built facilities and state and local tax money to enhance their bottom lines.
But wait, Hammer also is willing to let the state stay in charge for TWO 24-month periods if sufficient progress has not been made. Yes, four more years of Schoo Board-in-Hiding Johnny Key in charge of Little Rock schools after five years of declining performance. Feel better?