by Max Brantley
Citizens Against Taxation Without Representation stands strongly opposed to the blatant betrayal of the 7,184 Little Rock School District (LRSD) voters who voted against the Millage Tax Bond Extension on May 9, 2017. Last week, Superintendent Michael Poore and Acting LRSD School Board Johnny Key approved a resolution to create $92 million of new debt through a risky second-lien bond issue using our school buildings as collateral. We are disappointed that this decision was made during a special meeting that was called without the proper and legal public notification. Further, we are alarmed that the district continues to make significant financial and infrastructure decisions without meaningful public engagement.
Citizens Against Taxation Without Representation stands firmly in our conviction that elected representation is a democratic right. We believe that it is financially irresponsible to plow forward with grandiose plans and issuance of monstrous debt without a long term, comprehensive plan made in cooperation with parents, students, teachers and community supporters. Creating and extending debt while closing schools and implementing other measures to reduce the current budget are counter to sound, transparent governance and, frankly, convey appearance of bad business.
One of the State Board of Education members recently said he was “tired of hearing about the Little Rock School District.” In response to his concern, we have a solution that will satisfy both his sentiments and our long-standing request: give us back the keys to our district so we can publicly elect an official school board (rather than an appointed body of advisors) and get on with the business of the district in effectively providing a world-class education for all students in the LRSD.
Citizens Against Taxation Without Representation urges all Little Rock voters to sign our official Petition of Opposition against $92 million dollars of new debt through second-lien bonds. Join us in delivering the petition to the County Clerk on Friday, July 7th at noon outside the Pulaski County Courthouse (401 W. Markham St.) We ask that you assist us in holding Commissioner Key and Superintendent Mike Poore accountable for their betrayal of students, our voices, and our vote.