LRSD Senior Staff Provide Informational Message to District Parents and Community Members

Attention LRSD Parents:

A Blackboard (ParentLink) message that includes an informational letter from senior LRSD staff members was sent to you this evening.  The contents of that letter can be found  below (the "Word" version of this letter can be found at the end of this email.):

Senior Staff Informational Letter - English

Senior Staff Informational Letter - Spanish

While administration cannot tell you how to vote, you are encouraged to familiarize yourself with the issue related to the May 9th election to extend the debt on one bond issue for LRSD.  Early voting begins tomorrow, May 2.  If the extension passes, planned capital improvement projects impacting schools across the District would get underway as early as this summer.   Planned Capital Improvement Projects and Estimated Costs

Meantime, two signficant developments occurred last  week related to the May 9 election: early and election day poll sites were announced, and the City Board of Directors voted 7-1 to support the Little Rock School District's request to hold the election.

In addition to the main early voting site in the Pulaski County Regional Building, 501 W. Markham (across the street from Little Rock City Hall), the four new locations are listed below:

• Sue Cowan Williams Library, 1800 S. Chester
• Southwest Community Center, 6401 Baseline Road
• Second Presbyterian Church, Youth Center, 600 Pleasant Valley Drive
• West Central Community Center, 4521 John Barrow

Early voting will be held weekdays at the downtown location May 2-8, 2017; 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.; and at the four other election locations May 2-7, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Election Day is May 9.

Additonally, you will find a list of  Frequently Asked Questions by clicking here.

Proceeds Details

 May 1, 2017

Dear Parents and Community Members,

This might be an unusual letter for all of you to receive.  If you skip to the bottom, you will see that the senior staff has come together to share the facts behind the upcoming election, May 9.  Yes, we are members of the senior staff for Little Rock Schools, but we also are parents, grandparents, and longtime members of this community. 

We can say affirmatively that the ballot question before you has been a well thought-out matter, with capital needs discussed at more than 40 community meetings.  In fact, past boards and past superintendents have discussed it.  The needs are real.  In 2014, the school board commissioned a study by Fanning Howey and over $340 million in school facility needs were identified.  As senior leaders, we also feel a responsibility to move forward on a new high school in the southwest portion of our community to create a modern, state-of-the-art learning environment for the students currently attending McClellan and Fair.  The package the community gets to vote on allows us to move forward with that new high school, as well as a major revitalization of McClellan; and generates $160 million for much needed building improvements at every school campus.   None of these projects would be considered extravagant; they simply are efforts to better serve students through improved academic environments that include, but aren’t limited to, heating and cooling, improved air quality, roofs, windows, and security cameras.  

We believe in this proposal and the financial package to extend one bond issue.  Our team has been actively engaged in the designing process for the new high school and in determining the basic needs that require immediate attention.  If you vote for this, we move forward and your tax rate will not increase.  If you vote no, your tax rate will also stay the same.  However, this means that many of the major capital projects that have been identified to support our children and our schools will not move forward.   Tough decisions would have to be made about which improvements would take priority versus a district-wide capital plan. 

We believe in this District. Combined, we have over 130 years of service just in LRSD.  We are proud of the direction we are headed and believe that community support is needed now more than ever to allow our District to impact our children and prepare them for a bright future. 

Please become informed, visit our District website to receive additional information, and please exercise your civic duty on May 9 (early voting begins on May 2). 

Sincerely,
The Little Rock School District Leadership Team

Mike Poore, Supterintendent; Marvin Burton, Deputy Supertindent; Dr. Daniel Whitehorn, Associate Superintendent - Middle Schools; Dr. Sadie Mitchell, Associate Superintendent, Elementary Schools; Dr. Frederick Fields, Sr. Director Student Services; Kelsey Bailey, Chief Financial Officer; Pamela Smith, Communications Director; Rhonda Langrell Benton, Human Resources Director; Eric Walker, Staff Attorney