A Go Fund Me account has been established to help Little Rock Education Association members in the event of a “collective job action,” aka strike.
About $1,800 has been raised toward a $50,000 goal.
No specific actions have been voted or taken.
But ongoing plans by the city of Little Rock and teachers and volunteers to provide oversight for children in the event of a job action are well underway. The current contract and recognition of the LREA officially end Oct. 31.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson is licking his chops in anticipation of an opportunity for union-bashing. Teachers will have two objectives if there is a strike: 1) An autonomous Little Rock School Board and 2) restored recognition of the LREA. The Hutchinson-controlled state board of education has no intention of providing either. It is hard to envision a resolution for this should it occur.
The state Board has said it will permit elections in November 2020, but powers of that board haven’t been delineated and the board has made it clear it intends to retain unilateral power over LRSD decisions.
I do think a job action will shape sentiment for the eventual School Board elections in November, though much remains to be determined on the specifics of the election process.
One note: I asked Mayor Frank Scott Jr. yesterday his thoughts on whether the 2019 Republican school board-packing legislation, which allows expansion of the board from seven to nine members, should include two at-large members as mentioned by state board members. He said he felt the same way about school elections as he did about city board representation — it should be all ward-based. Amen to that. At-large representation is the scheme by which the white business establishment controlled city government for years.
RELATED: The governor and his puppet education commissioner Johnny Key were slated to join other like-minded bigwigs at the fall conference of the Arkansas Public School Resource Center, a Walton Family Foundation-supported charter school advocacy group. The blog Orchestrating Change reports that a Little Rock School District defender and charter school opponent was on-hand with a visible protest of the Walton charter school agenda.