by Max Brantley
It's likely to be an important day in the Little Rock School District.
A special board meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. to consider Superintendent Roy Brooks' continued employment.
The expectation is that four of the seven board members are prepared to end his leadership. There is a reported split among that four on whether to fire him for cause -- a path favored by Board president Katherine Mitchell -- or to buy out his contract.
If his departure is inevitable, a buyout is the preferred option politically. It would cost between $400,000 and $500,000 (not even what it would cost to buy out a track coach at UA). That's a lot of money, though an affordable sum in an operation with a $300 million annual budget. But it stops the bleeding. If Brooks is fired for cause, he can demand a hearing. That's a process that guarantees at least two more months of turmoil and, perhaps then, a lawsuit. He must waive that hearing process if the board pays him for the remainder of his contracted time but doesn't require his services.
No outcome will be a happy one. Any decision that moves the district closer to the point where repairing relationships can begin is the best decision.
A citizens group will have a noon news conference today to call for Brooks' ouster.
NOTED: Because a large crowd is expected, the school district has announced it will not allow "live" TV shots from the lobby of the building. ???