Last night, KATV – Channel 7’s Jeannette Reyes reported that,
“The superintendent for the district says they are working to make this (West Little Rock middle school) a reality. But finding a location has been difficult.”
For years, we have repeatedly offered location assistance to the district, including utilizing the Little Rock Regional of Commerce, which is deeply experienced in working with commercial real estate companies to locate and secure market-priced property for highly confidential economic development projects. Many options are available to locate and secure an appropriate location. For example, a private company donated land for Chenal Elementary School in the Pulaski County School District. It’s disingenuous for the district and superintendent to claim location as a stumbling block when they refuse to accept offered assistance and fully explore all available options.
“In a statement, the district said, in part, ‘We have been looking into this for a while now. We have already partnered with a realty company and are marking (sic) efforts to find a location,’ said Dr. Morris Holmes, the superintendent for the Little Rock School District.”
Looking is not action. The Little Rock School Board is a public entity. If it has contracted with a real estate company, it should reveal which one and the terms of the agreement.
“The district also plans on building a school in southwest Little Rock. They plan on releasing details on both projects as soon as they are able.”
A goal without a plan is a wish. If the district has drafted or executed any plans administratively, it should share them with the board and public. Until then, the administration and board should give a date certain as to when their referenced “plans” will be released.
Only six of the Little Rock School District’s 49 schools are in Zones 4 and 5 (West Little Rock). That means 28% of the population is only served by 12% of the schools. While Zone 5 picked up a middle school on its border after the most recent school board zone gerrymandering, Zone 4 remains the area most distant from both middle and high schools.
That is why parents must fully pursue creation of an open enrollment charter middle and high school to be located in West Little Rock, while concurrently insisting that their traditional district equitably serve its population.
Individually and collectively demand real and timely action from your elected Little Rock School Board members by utilizing Arkansas Learns – Votility, our local, state and federal legislative advocacy site.