LRSD Superintendent Mike Poore Announces Budget and Facilities Recommendations

January 17, 2017 - In response to the impending loss of $37 million in desegregation funds, a result of the 2014 settlement agreement, the Little Rock School District announced today the recommendation for closing three campuses, repurposing one campus, and removing one school from the list of potential closures.  The recommendations come following a series of stakeholder engagement opportunities that have included surveys, comments submitted via the district website, social media, community forums, phone calls and emails.  Impacted schools and recommendations include:

 

School                                                     Recommendation

Franklin                                                   Closure
                                                                  Students will attend Stephens
                                                                  Plans for repurposing will be developed with
                                                                  Community Input                      

Wilson                                                     Closure
                                                                  Students will attend Western Hills, Romine, Bale and
                                                                  Brady
                                                                  Repurposed with Hamilton ALE program relocating to
                                                                  Wilson

Woodruff ECC                                              Closure
                                                                 Pre-K program students will attend Carver and Martin
                                                                 Luther King
                                                                 Plans for repurposing will be developed with community
                                                                 input

Hamilton Learning Academy             Repurposed 
                                                                  Potentially reconfigured to a K-8 campus,
                                                                  incorporating Bale Elementary
                                                                  Future Hamilton ALE students moved to Wilson’s campus

Carver Magnet                                     Remove from closure list
                                                                 Enhance magnet program at Carver as part of district-wide
                                                                 initiative to support and improve to existing magnet
                                                                 programs   

“A significant part of our proposed budget reduction is shaped by school utilization and we do not make these recommendations lightly,” said LRSD Superintendent Mike Poore.  “This is not an easy decision as staff along with students and their parents take great pride in developing school cultures. They are family.  Closures and change are difficult.”

While acknowledging the difficulty in making a recommendation to close a school, Poore stressed that educational opportunities for the impacted students would be strengthened with the addition of resources in staffing at the schools where students will be assigned. 

During the recent community meetings Poore shared the budget realities for the district which has seen a 2,300 student decline at the elementary level, and studies reveal excess capacity at some schools.  The goal is to have more efficient operations at schools, while improving the academic performance of all students. 

Since 2015, the District has trimmed nearly $30 million from its budget with a significant portion of those cuts borne by employees:  reductions in staff; and reductions in contract days as well as the amount the District contributes toward health benefits.  The intent has been to make cuts that would have the least impact on students and staff. 

In keeping with his commitment to allow additional input, a community meeting will be held at Franklin, Wednesday, January 18 and at Wilson, January 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m. each night.  Stakeholders who wish to ask questions or make comments are requested to sign in and will have 3 minutes to speak.  Community members are encouraged to allow parents of the impacted schools to speak first. 

Feedback collected at the meetings will be shared with the Commissioner of Education, who will have the final approval on the recommendations.   Additional information can be found in the links below.

“As we prepare for the future of students and this district, our schools remain strong and our commitment to excellence in teaching and learning continues," said Poore.

The Poore Page

Updated Facilities Planning Document

Facilities and Budget Report 1/17/17