EDUCATION DEPARTMENT NEWS RELEASE
GREENLAND: Arkansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Ken James introduced Roland M. Smith of Rogers as the new superintendent of the Greenland School District today at the district’s administrative office. Smith will assume the duties of the job effective immediately, reporting directly to Dr. James.
“Roland Smith is an exceptional school leader. I am confident that he is the right person to lead the Greenland School District through these challenging times,” Dr. James said.
Smith served as superintendent of the Rogers School District from 1993 to1999. Before that he filled various teaching and administrative roles in Illinois public schools. After leaving Rogers, he worked as a program coordinator and instructor in education at the University of Arkansas and was also the founding dean of the College of Education at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.
In April, the State Board of Education placed the Greenland School District in the category of fiscal distress because of a two-year declining balance. In June, the Arkansas Department of Education determined that the school district would end the 2007-08 fiscal year with a negative balance, which is not allowed by state law. (A short-term loan allowed the school district to end the year with a balance of $973.00). At that point, Dr. James recommended to the State Board that the school district be annexed into one of the surrounding districts.
The Arkansas State Board of Education voted on July 14 to place the Greenland School District under state control and dismissed all of the district’s school board members at that time. The district’s superintendent, Ronald Brawner, had been dismissed by the Greenland School Board prior to state takeover.
In addition to placing the district under state control, the State Board will hear updates on the district’s financial situation every three months and decide at the end of the year whether the district should be annexed or is fiscally fit enough to be able to operate independently. At the same time, the possibility of annexing Greenland students into more than one district will be examined.