Arkansas Education

UALR sign
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

The three finalists for the chancellor's post at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock are scheduled to visit the campus next week.

The three will also meet with UALR employees and University of Arkansas System leaders.

The university said Wednesday that Boise State University vice president Mark Rudin will visit Monday and Tuesday; Sonoma State vice president and provost Andrew Rogerson will visit Wednesday and Thursday; and Colorado State University System chief academic officer Cheryl Lovell will visit on Thursday and Friday.

Little Rock School District buses

The Little Rock School District's Civic Advisory Committee is asking that Education Commissioner Johnny Key be removed from his role.

Co-Chair Greg Adams says his personal perspective is Key’s choice to replace Superintendent Baker Kurrus with Bentonville School District Superintendent Michael Poore was abrupt and disrespectful.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Last week, incoming Little Rock School Superintendent Michael Poore met with community members, visited schools and did media interviews. He attempted to reassure people upset over Arkansas Education Commissioner Johnny Key’s recent decision to replace Little Rock Superintendent Baker Kurrus. 

File. Education Commissioner Johnny Key speaking to reporters in the state Capitol building.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Education Commissioner Johnny Key is sticking with his decision to bring in Bentonville's Michael Poore as superintendent for the state-controlled Little Rock School District. KUAR's Jacob Kauffman spoke to Key about trust, an academic vision, charter schools, segregation, and school closings.

UALR sign
Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Three candidates are being considered for the position of chancellor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The university announced Thursday that UA System President Donald Bobbitt made the selections from a pool of candidates recommended by a search committee. 

One Capitol Mall has houses the Joint Budget Committee.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas lawmakers have rejected an attempt to increase funding for the state's pre-kindergarten program, one of several initiatives that Democrats are looking to boost money for as the state's budget is finalized.

The Joint Budget Committee on Wednesday rejected by a 13-22, party-line vote a proposal to increase the funding for the Arkansas Better Chance program from $111 million to $121 million in the coming year.  Supporters of the proposal highlighted the benefits of the pre-k program and noted that it hasn't had a funding increase in several years.

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.