Jacksonville petition begins to separate from PCSSD

JACKSONVILLE - A petition to formally separate from the Pulaski County Special School District and form the Jacksonville/North Pulaski School District was presented at a town hall meeting at the Jacksonville Community Center on Tuesday.

Community leaders hope to gather 2,000 signatures by June and present them to the State Board of Education. Then, pending approval by a federal judge, an election would be held in Jacksonville where voters would decide whether to separate from PCSSD.

Dr. Winston Simpson, an independent expert consultant, also presented the findings of a feasibility study on Tuesday that confirmed what organizers have said for more than 30 years. Simpson said a Jacksonville school district would have more revenue than all other neighboring districts except Little Rock School District and PCSSD.

The proposal calls for a separate 12-campus district. Jacksonville leaders say a separate district would expedite the process of repairing some of the area's oldest, worn-down facilities.

In response to Maumelle city officials expressing interest in also separating from PCSSD, several Jacksonville organizers on Tuesday called it a "non-issue," emphasizing Maumelle has only begun their process.