Monday, May 07, 2007

More on the Little Rock School District

My column in today's Democrat-Gazette is about the fiaso which has overtaken the local school board. It was completed Friday morning, before many of the latest developments. Some thoughts.

First, relating directly to the column, a reader takes some exception to my treatment of the infamous Mitchell letter. I knew that Mitchell had no authority to send that notification, but there are only so many words in a newspaper column. Here is the straigh dope from my highly confidential source.

She is only allowed to act on official board resolutions, those that came out of a leagally called meeting.

"No individual board member has any power or authority ..

A.C.A. 6-17-1506. Contract renewal - Notice of nonrenewal - Rescission.
(a)(1) By May 1 of the contract year, the teacher is notified by the school superintendent that the superintendent is recommending that the teacher's contract not be renewed.
(b)(1) Termination, nonrenewal, or suspension shall be only upon the recommendation of the superintendent.
(B) The notice of recommended nonrenewal of a teacher shall include a ststement of the reasons for the recommendation, setting forth the reasons in separately numbered paragraphs so that a reasonable teacher can prepare a defense.

And that does not get to the FOIA charge …

Further thoughts.

The tactics of the white minority are astounding. The blunt undisguised attempt to subvert the democratic functions of an elected board is so brazen as to be morally repulsive. This will come off like your typical Arky "circle the wagons" paranoia, but this legal maneuver will make national news and will be a permanent stain on the community.

If you read the column, which requires a subscription, you know that my disdain for Katherine Mitchell is complete. Nonetheless, the majority of the board is the majority. Otherwise, why bother having elections.

The only reason Brooks and the white minority want to disqualify two black board members is to thwart democratic government because they are, for one, not in the majority.

Max over at the Arkansas Times blog is right. Brooks should be bought out.

If the "reformers" are so darned convinced of the moral rightness of their cause, they might try getting a majority of parents and teachers on their side first. Of course, this goes against how the Little Rock ruling class operates.

This entire situation is absolutely disgusting, especially considering the newly conferred "Unitary status," releasing the district from decades of federal court supervision.

Well, that did not last long. Katherine Mitchell and Roy Brooks may have given us another 20 years of litigation.

On the brighter side of things, I am pleased to see my friend Chip Welch getting a piece of the action.

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