The effort to murder and cannibalize public education has been underway in this state for years. Civic and business leaders have been part of it (covertly and openly). Sixty years after 1957 – when Little Rock and Arkansas made world history because white supremacy tried to defy the claims of black people to justice in public education – political and business leaders of the capitol city and state of Arkansas appear poised to plunge their city and state to an even lower dimension of disgrace and shame.Prophets, write Griffen, are defiant and intrusive and needed at the national and local level these days.
This is a day when prophets must show up.
I hope this afternoon becomes defined by prophetic people, not politicians and profiteers. I hope those prophetic people boldly confront, denounce, and condemn the brazen tyranny of the Arkansas Department of Education toward public education in general, and the black, brown, and lower income children, parents, patrons, and other stakeholders for public education in Little Rock specifically. Why? Because when prophets show up, tyrants and tyranny are challenged.As I've said before, the prophets should demand more than soothing words from Poore. They must demand answers from the ultimate boss, Education Commissioner Johnny Key, on building use, his continuing support for charter schools and whether he'll fight designs on privatization of the district. To date, he's refused public comments. Yet he wants a half-billion in additional taxes from residents of the Little Rock School District in a May election. Bland assurances from Poore don't count. If voters get no representation of their interests from Key, they should resist 14 more years of taxation for potential benefit of private school operators.
This proposed legislation is yet another attempt to wrest local control from our city and yield to the demands of land developers to provide our valuable wastewater (sewer) service to them on their terms. Without a doubt HB 1549 will directly cause more urban sprawl, drive up the cost of city services and make our great city unsustainable regarding environmental protection, urban planning and more taxes.Lynch tells the mayor the developers have always won. Will they again?
Little Rock already has a poor record yielding to the developer lobby and expanding into rural territory because developers want their cheap country real estate immediately transformed into higher priced urban lots. They make lots of money, city services must be spread over more square miles, existing neighborhoods must suffer dilution of service, Little Rock loses more of its natural beauty and taxes go higher.
Wastewater is the most expensive of city services to build, organize and deliver. Sewer lines must be buried deep in the ground to take advantage of gravity flow. Land developers will do almost anything to obtain city sewer and expand their speculative land deals. Only with sewer will urban development really occur
as compared to water or roads, each of which is relatively cheap to provide compared to wastewater.
Would you please stop HB 1549 in its tracks?