The fifth public hearing on the future of the Little Rock School District before the state Board of Education will be streamed on the web tonight beginning at 5:30 p.m. You can go to this link for directions to view the meeting on-line.

The plan is for a period of public comment and then a board discussion on “reconstitution” of the district at the end of five years of state control in January. State control has produced little in the way of measurable gains in the district.

The public has spoken overwhelmingly in favor of a return of a democratically elected local school board, an idea that seems to have resistance in the state Education Department and among others unfriendly to Little Rock.

No final board action is expected tonight. The final test scores figures aren’t official yet. They’ll be used to justify whatever the state board decides to do, though the statute that provides for reconstitution is vague on precisely what the term means. Annexation or consolidation with another school district is impossible.

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State Education Commissioner Johnny Key is expected to attend the meeting tonight. He skipped the first four public hearings. He’s the school board of LRSD under state takeover, but has largely made himself unavailable to people in the district.