Proposed job cuts in LRSD cause divide between board and superintendent

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -- Future layoffs in theLittle Rock School District are causing a division between the school board andits superintendent.

School board PresidentGreg Adams said Friday that the relationship between the board andsuperintendent Dr. Dexter Suggs is in an adjustment period. Suggs has only beensuperintendent for one semester in Little Rock, and now budget concerns are afront and center issue that must be worked on.

To start year 2013 LRSDhad to withdraw $3 million in reserve funds to make the budget, and nowsuperintendent Suggs is working to slim that number with layoffs.

"He doesn't have tohave our approval to make these moves," Adams made clear during an interviewFriday. "This is part of what he's empowered to do as a superintendent, andthen the employees who are going to be eliminated can bring their concerns tothe board and at that time we would evaluate it."

Adams referred to theappear process each terminated employee at LRSD is offered under state law.

Suggs' plans were presentedat Thursday's school board meeting.

He is considering cuttingsix full time jobs, three of those which are department directors. Additionallycuts would eliminate a stipend for the district's middle school supervisor.

Three of the positions upto be cut make between $107,000 and $121,000.

Adams downplayed Thursdaynight's discussion that Suggs could face demotion, and instead said it's atough time for everyone as they try to make budgets work.

"To get there we'regoing to have some conflicts, we're going to have some differences of opinionthat we're going to have to work through," Adams added. "We're going to need tolisten to one another and work together."

Dr. Suggs was unable tomeet with Channel Seven on Friday, but according to his layed out play, the jobcuts are expected to go into effect on July 1.

Cuts include workers whohave been with the district for more than 20 years.

The proposition wasdiscussed for an hour in an executive session between the superintendent andschool board.