by Max Brantley
LR School Superintendent Roy Brooks has released the letter from the School Board citing reasons in support of the 4-3 vote to fire him. He has also released a letter answering the charges point by point. He's also released a letter saying the board violated policy by setting a suspension hearing next week without properly placing the matter on an agenda first. The letters come in a PDF form we cannot readily link at our site. Jennifer Reed is compiling a report that we'll post as soon as possible.
There are some new allegations, including the issue of additional pay unilaterally approved by Brooks for his secretary, her husband and another clerical employee. He contends this was proper payment for extra work. He's also accused of insubordination for reported remarks about school board members. He disputes this. And, of course, he trotted out his line about best urban school district in the country.
The Democrat-Gazette, provided the documents in advance of some others of us in the media, has helpfully made the PDFs available. You'll have to copy and paste to avoid being redirected to their paid website, but you may read them at these URLs.
Charges against Brooks:
My comment: I doubt all of this will convince anyone on either side. Brooks perhaps can delay suspension and firing hearings. The Board will eventually serve notice even Hussman's lawyers can't fault, however, and get the issue properly heard and voted, sooner or later. A hearing officer may or may not side with Brooks. The Board will find the allegations have merit, 4-3, just the same. They will vote to fire him by the same vote. Hussman's lawyers will continue to file motion after motion, including a new pleading contesting the firing. A trial will eventually be scheduled and held sometime this decade. Brooks may or may not prevail. In the meanwhile, ugly elections will be held attempting to change the balance of power on the board. That may or may not happen. The state's largest newspaper will trumpet the latest development at the top of page one, generally in a form most favorable to Brooks. The editorial page will provide support. Blacks will be referred to as gang members. Brooks will be referred to as the savior of public education in Little Rock. The Walton School of Merit Pay at Walton University will gin out some studies in support of Brooks. National newspapers will write that Little Rock is still fighting over race 50 years after Central.
Or: The Board majority could buy Brooks out.