Supporters of the Little Rock School District
will rally at noon today at the state Capitol in response to the Asa Hutchinson administration's decision to remove Baker Kurrus
as school superintendent for replacement by the current Bentonville Superintendent Michael Poore.
From the Facebook page
for the event:
The sudden termination of Mr. Kurrus on April 16, throws Little Rock back into a spiral of uncertainty and undermines the hard work that has been done to date. This political move resurrects the very type of instability used to justify taking control of the district. A year into state administration, LRSD is back in chaos and uncertainty, and there still is no plan for our children or our schools.
Education Commissioner Johnny Key,
who runs the school district since the state takeover, attempted to dampen this event with a Friday afternoon news release
apologizing for the "timing" of the Kurrus firing, if not the content. Message: "Forget about getting your district back. We are in charge now."
By "we," he also means the Walton Family Foundation
, which has been pushing for years a strategy to turn over the Little Rock School District to private management corporations. That would mean a permanent end to democratically controlled local schools and a further balkanizing of a district all chopped up by charter school havens supported by Walton billions.
If you still believe in democratically governed school boards, drop by the Capitol. Or if you simply want to show gratitude for the work Baker Kurrus has done, that would be fine, too.
The group has made these requests in a petition signed by more than 1,000
Today students, parents, educators, business owners and faith leaders from every zip code in our city, of every racial and ethnic background, from every income group and political persuasion come together to hold the door open for Mr. Kurrus. We deliver over 1,000 signatures calling on the Governor and Commissioner Key to:
Reinstate Baker Kurrus as Superintendent, extend his contract and grant him the independence to be free of political pressure from ADE and the Governor's office;
Place a moratorium on charter school expansions and other major policy decisions impacting the school district until a comprehensive plan is in place;
And return control of Little Rock School District to a locally elected school board.