Arkansas Education

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.

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.

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University officials say construction is on target for its campus in Queretaro, Mexico, to open to students in the fall of 2017.

The Jonesboro Sun reports that phase one of the project includes building an academic area on 87 acres of the 370-acre campus. It will include computer labs, a library, academic offices, a student union, classroom and labs.

A report of armed men near an Arkansas elementary school led to a campus lockdown before police confirmed the three were actually pest control employees chasing squirrels.

A teacher at Gardner STEM Magnet School in Hot Springs saw the men about 8 a.m. Wednesday and notified administrators. According to a statement from the Hot Springs Police Department, the teacher said it looked like three men carrying rifles were running toward the school.

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

A 3,000 student expansion of the eStem and Lisa Academy charter schools will come before the State Board of Education Thursday night.

Little Rock School District Civic Advisory co-chair Greg Adams told KUAR he hopes board members will consider how this growth could hurt the LRSD.

"To me, it's their responsibility to really look at the whole picture," he said.

Hutchinson Asa Bioscience
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A research program created through Arkansas' settlement with tobacco companies is marking its receipt of more than half a billion dollars in grants since it was created more than a decade ago.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson and state Tobacco Settlement Commission officials on Tuesday celebrated the Arkansas Biosciences Institute receiving more than $508 million in private and public grants since its creation in 2002.

The institute is one of seven programs receiving tobacco settlement funds under a law approved by voters in 2000.