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Teachers’ future still in question at Little Rock School District

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Little Rock School District Community Advisory Board met for the first time after all the state action to talk about developing the professional personnel council.

Little Rock School District Superintendent Michael Poore said developing the professional personnel council is urgent. The contract between LRSD and the Little Rock Educators Association expires Oct. 31.

“That’s important for our employees because that’s the way that they can have voice,” Poore said.

Because of legislation passed last spring, Poore said this council was always going to be developed regardless of the state voting to dissolve the LREA last week. He said the council will allow teachers to still have input on salaries and policies.

“We still needed to move forward on this in terms of that becoming the vehicle for the teachers to interact,” Poore said.

At Thursday’s community advisory board meeting, the board agreed to suggest to the state that there must be one representative from each school in the district on the council. 

The nomination process would begin on Oct. 28 and the election process for the council would begin Nov. 19 and end Dec. 9. The goal is to have the council’s first meeting in January.

Poore said this would be very similar to a teacher’s union. He also argues the LREA is still an institute and it is not going away.

“That’s my intent as the superintendent. When you have opportunities to interact with teachers in either in a professional negotiated agreements area or now in a personnel policy council, you allow teachers to give input and that you work in collaborative fashion,” Poore said.

The board also suggested to move forward with a third party to work on the election for the council. But Poore said their suggestions still have to go through state commissioner Johnny Key.

“We’re going to get feedback from them on that in terms of what we’ve developed so far on our process to move forward on that,” Poore said.

Just outside the doors of Thursday’s meeting, teachers and parents had their own meeting in protest of the professional personnel council.

“It was a do right school board meeting,” Charlie McAdoo said.

Former Little Rock School Board administrator Charlie McAdoo said he is pushing to keep the LREA intact.

“My hope is that the power of the people will pick up on what we did to night and that the power of the people,” McAdoo said.

The board also discussed teacher salaries in the Little Rock School District – specifically starting teacher salaries. Board member Jeff Wood said the board will continue to fight for higher pay, regardless of what the state says.

“It is critical these teachers get taken care of,” Wood said.

RELATED: ‘Our community won our schools back’: Mayor Scott Jr. comments on LRSD decision

RELATED: Arkansas Board of Education votes to return local control to Little Rock School District

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