Arkansas Education

On Tuesday, we aired an interview with Camille Edmison, the attorney suing the State Board of Education for alleged Freedom of Information  Act  violations. The suit claims a series of e-mails between board members, which resulted in the cancelation of a public review of charter school expansions in Little Rock last month, constituted a public meeting and a FOIA violation. 

Arkansas Public Policy Panel Executive Director Bill Kopsky with his child on his shoulders at an LRSD rally.
Arkansas Times

Last weekend hundreds of Little Rock denizens and public school proponents rallied at the Capitol to call for the state to renew Superintendent Baker Kurrus’s contract, place a moratorium on charter school expansion, and to return control to a locally elected school board. Bill Kopsky, with the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, helped organized that event.

KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman talked with Kopsky about what’s next and his conversations with the district’s new head Michael Poore.

Arkansas Department of Education Building in Little Rock near the state Capitol building.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

A lawsuit against the Arkansas Board of Education alleges members violated the state's Freedom of Information Act through group e-mails. 

The suit brought by area resident Claudius Johnson alleges board members shouldn’t have discussed canceling a public review of charter school expansions over e-mail.  

KUAR spoke with attorney Camille Edmison about her client’s allegations against the board.

On Wednesday, we’ll post an interview with a legal scholar who says making plans through email does not constitute a public meeting, or a FOIA violation.

Attorney and state Rep. John Walker of Little Rock.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Advocates of public schools in Little Rock are continuing to add their voices to the fallout over the state’s decision to bring in a new superintendent for the state-controlled district, without any community input.

An Arkansas elementary school teacher has been arrested on 33 preliminary charges of giving alcohol to minors and endangering the welfare of minors.

The Lonoke County Sheriff's Office says deputies arrested 48-year-old Marcie Duncan early Sunday after responding to a report of an after-prom party.

Deputies say several teenagers tried to flee into the woods when authorities arrived. The deputies also stopped three cars with several apparently intoxicated teenagers from leaving the party.

Arkansas Education Commissioner Johnny Key testifying to a joint meeting of the Education Committees.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key says the way he handled the decision to bring in a new superintendent for the Little Rock School District was a "mistake" that has led to the "poor implementation" of new leadership.

Arkansas Department of Education Building in Little Rock near the state Capitol building.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Much of Little Rock is fuming over the decision by Arkansas Department of Education head Johnny Key to not renew Superintendent Baker Kurrus’s contract. But not everyone in the district is upset, some see much promise in the pick of Michael Poore of Bentonville schools.

KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman spoke with Gary Newton, president of the education policy group Arkansas Learns to talk about the decision and the role of charter schools in the district.

Johnny Key and Baker Kurrus
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

The Arkansas Department of Education has picked Bentonville's superintendent to lead the state-run Little Rock School District.

The new head of the Little Rock School District Michael Poore.
bentonvillek12.org

We weren't supposed to know who would replace Baker Kurrus as Superintendent of the Little Rock School District until Wednesday morning but news from northwest Arkansas confirms that Michael Poore has the job.

He's been superintendent of the Bentonville School District since 2011-12 school year. Prior to that he developed some job experience as a deputy superintendent that he'll be deploying once again if the state's plan to close schools in Little Rock continues.

File photo: LRSD Superintendent Baker Kurrus, Democrat Gazette publisher and charter advocate Walter Hussman, and Governor Asa Hutchinson.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Little Rock School District Superintendent Baker Kurrus confirmed to multiple news sources this evening that his contract will not be renewed by the Department of Education which has controlled the district since January of last year.

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