Parents unhappy with school district, want to detach

MAUMELLE (KATV) - Another Pulaski County city is working to detach itself from the Pulaski County Special School District and become independent.

In next week's city council meeting, Maumelle's board will consider a resolution to form its own independent school district, according to Ward 3 Alderman Preston Lewis.

Residents and city government are being proactive about the issue, but there is still a lot of work to be done before Maumelle could be considered to start its own school district.

It's been a long time coming. At least that's what some Maumelle parents will tell you about their mission for the city to have its own school district.

Their reason? It could be a lost faith in PCSSD.

"At least from my perspective I feel like the Pulaski County School district is broken," said Maumelle parent Russ Galbraith. "There's no board, there's no representation for parents, there's a lot of things going on with the financial situation with the school district."

Galbraith said now that his two boys are in the heart of their school days, he wants a change.

"We don't feel like we're represented, we don't feel like our voice is heard," Galbraith added, citing the Arkansas Department of Education's takeover of the district. "We feel like there are things in the academic community, in the schools, that could be better."

If Maumelle is to be independent it will have some major obstacles in the way.

According the state's rule on detachment:

(b) An existed school district shall not be reduced by means of detachment to an area with fewer than 4,000 students in average daily membership.

Right now Maumelle's enrollment is bordering around 2,300.

Additionally, a detaching district is require to "Encompass a total area of 700 square miles or more, now or in the future."

"Just from talking to my constituency, talking to my friends and looking at the media on Facebook, it looks like that's what the people of Maumelle really want," Alderman Rick Anderson said.

Anderson added that if it decided to go forth with making changes, having its own school leadership would sit well with Maumelle's 20-year plan.

"Looking towards the future then that's definitely going to fall in line with growing into the community."

PCSSD opted not to comment citing speculation.

The council meeting to discuss this is set for Monday, April 1 at 6 pm.