LITTLE ROCK, Ark — Parents and teachers met at the Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church Sunday to express their concerns about the Little Rock School District’s future and the potential teacher work stoppage.
“We’re never going to change what we’re saying because what we’re saying is the same thing that people have been saying for five years,” Veronica McClane said.
Chairs were left in the front of the room for Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Commissioner Johnny Key and other members of the city and state board.
Mayor Frank Scott Jr. was the only one with representation, sending his chief of staff Charles Blake to answer questions because he was not in town.
“This would have been a great way for us to have a conservation,” McClane said.
Veronica McClane, an LRSD parent, said it is frustrating to see no one from the state there.
“Especially with the governor. I’m part of a group that has requested numerous meetings with the governor and he never answers,” McClane said.
Dr. Anika T. Whitifeld is a strong Advocate for Little Rock Schools. She said this meeting was an important one, especially with the threat of a teacher’s work stoppage on the line.
“Everyone tonight was invited to come. This was supposed to be an open engagement and they simply did not show up,” Dr. Whitfield said.
Dr. Whitfield says everyone in the room Sunday is hoping there will not be a work stoppage, which is why they hope the state is listening and takes action.
“The state has the opportunity to turn the corner. They could absolutely say this week that they will continue to recognize the LREA,” she said.
That potential work stoppage could happen anytime after the LREA’s contract negotiation expires, which is this Thursday, Oct. 31.