Rep. Andrew Collins
(D-Little Rock) will present his HB 1862 in the House Education Committee at 10 a.m. today, a bill to provide a pathway to return of democratic control of the Little Rock School District.

It’s mostly a PR gesture at this point. A similar bill has been defeated in the Senate. Also just yesterday, there was a breathtaking secret assault on democracy in LRSD mounted, it was learned at the last minute, by Jeff Wood, a Johnny Key-appointed member of the very community advisory board that nominally exists to provide a fig leaf of public involvement in the state-controlled district. Wood, chair of that laughable board, made it clear he was in no hurry to have an elected school board anytime soon. Things are going just fine out in West Little Rock where he lives, though Sens. Joyce Elliott and Linda Chesterfield tried to explain to him how people in other parts of town weren’t so sanguine. Wood was enabled by two senators, Kim Hammer and Mark Johnson, who do not live in the Little Rock School District and who, best I can tell from the map, have either none or a tiny negligible part of LRSD in their districts, primarily Saline County for Hammer and the western reaches of Pulaski and neighboring counties for Johnson. They wanted to add four years to the five years of state takeover of LRSD.

Collins would provide a return of control, rather than reconstituting, annexing or consolidating the district based on the arbitrary cut scores at a handful of schools. Key and the Hutchinson-controlled henchmen on the state Board of Education have exhibited little interest in a return of local control in Little Rock. Indeed, local control is respected at the Arkansas legislature only when it supports majority biases. Guns, civil rights, schools, Confederate statues —- there are just a few of the issues in which the Arkansas legislature knows better than local citizenry.

UPDATE: I checked with the Pulaski County Election Commission. Sen. Mark Johnson said in error in Senate testimony yesterday that he represented the Little Rock School District. His district lies outside the district. There are ZERO LRSD voters in Johnson’s district, the commission said. Hammer has a sliver of far southwestern LRSD. He has 801 LRSD voters in his district, which leans more towards Saline County.