SOLD: To the Waltons, for $425,000. The former Garland school. The public officials who sold the taxpayer-financed building won'[t say yet what it is to be used for.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS: Mike Poore, trying to get a tax increase from LRSD voters: 'I don't believe we want to enhance the number of charter seats [in Little Rock] right now.'
The state Education Department says in a late-afternoon email that Education Commissioner Johnny Key
has approved the sale of the former Garland school
on 25th Street to an affiliate of the Walton Family Foundation.
Key serves as the Little Rock School Board since it was taken over by the state. Superintendent Mike Poore
recommended the sale. The availability of the property wasn't publicly announced
or advertised until Poore announced this week that the district had agreed to sell it to the Waltons for $425,000. They haven't said what it is to be used for.
I've asked Key, through his spokesman, if he'd tell Little Rock School District taxpayers what it is to be used for. I still predict it's slated for use by the Einstein charter school organization which is seeking approval for a 600-student K-8 school in the district. As yet, no response from Key. Perhaps he doesn't care. Key, you''ll
remember, fired Baker Kurrus
as superintendent because he said the unfettered growth of charter schools in Little Rock spelled doom for the school district.
I posted this earlier, but I'd like to remind people of what Poore has said on a couple of occasions relative to charter schools. He is working for Key, not taxpayers of the district who prefer a democratically accountable school district responsive to local voters. Poore also has refused to talk about the sale of the Garland building.
During the failed millage campaign, when I feared the proposal would put $500 million or more into fixing up school buildings to be taken over by charter schools operated with Walton guidance:
"I don't believe we want to enhance the number of charter seats [in Little Rock] right now."
It now appears he was preparing then
to sell this school to the Waltons.
Also, from an interview shortly after he was hired:, when he was asked if he could envision opposing a charter school expansion proposal:
"Sure, I could envision that," he replied. "You go look at the applications for the charter schools, and it’s a cookie cutter and many times poorly done. That should be held to a much higher standard. And accountability of poor performing charters also needs to be there."
Kiss the LRSD goodbye.
Oh, and go to the Central High 60th where they are talking about "progress" and wave some protest signs. It's 1957 all over again.