Another chapter in the growing volume of Hutchinson administration dishonesty. Remember when Alisha Lewis, the $106,000 communications director of the Arkansas Education Department, snootily dismissed an effort about 10 days ago to get information from Education Secretary Johnny Key about back-to-school plans in the Little Rock District? See her message above and note some keywords:

“local control”


“superintendent and community advisory boards tasked with making decisions”

answers “available by your district personnel.”


Fast forward to today’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

It was a brief item about the assignment of Teresa Knapp Gordon, president of the Little Rock Education Association, to a librarian job at Romine Elementary, ending years of practice of having the LREA president released from teaching duties while in the union office. The union picked up the salary during that time. From the article, emphasis supplied:


The Arkansas Board of Education in late 2019 directed that the school district no longer recognize the association as the contract bargaining agent for the employees and that a personnel policies committee — elected by teachers — be formed to advise the district on teacher employment matters.


The committee recommended that the union president continue to be released from teaching while holding office. Education Commissioner Johnny Key, who acts in place of the district’s board, denied the recommendation from the committee and from the Community Advisory Board.

CC: Alisha Lewis.

There may be good news in the offing. The state’s unconstitutional control of the Little Rock district has been challenged in court and a decision in that case is near. Also, a broader challenge of Hutchinson’s usurpation of local school control might be on the horizon as well.