LRSD superintendent lays out budget plan and proposed school closures

Little Rock School District Superintendent Mike Poore gave an update Thursday on LRSD's budget and school utilization. (KATV photo)

Little Rock School District Superintendent Mike Poore gave an update Thursday on the district's budget and gave information on possible school closures.

Poore said cuts the district plans to implement

The list of budget cuts mirrored the list of cuts Poore presented back in October, except Thursday's updated list included the suggested cuts for the 2017-2018 school year organized by priority and likelihood of the cuts becoming reality.

Poore started his press conference by naming nearly $4 million in cuts the district says they should have no problem implementing - including cross-district transportation, reduction of in-district transit service, as well as central office staff reduction and reducing legal expenditures. The district has to cut nearly $11 million, making school closures part of the "likely to implement" category of suggested budget cuts.

Poore proposed that Carver Magnet Elementary, Franklin Elementary, Wilson Elementary, and Woodruff Elementary be closed. He also proposed for a merger of Bale Elementary School and Hamilton Learning Academy. The list of potential school closures was compiled using both enrollment data and a school "utilization" score - all five schools predominantly seeing heavily dwindling school populations.

The district plans to re-purpose some of the schools slated for closure. According to a facilities planning document released at Thursday's press conference, Carver Magnet could become an Early Childhood Center, Wilson Elementary is being considered to become an alternative learning school for middle and high school students, and Hamilton Learning Academy could possibly be re-purposed a K-8 school by 2018.

If all five schools were to close, roughly 1,100 students would be displaced in the process. Poore said all students would be absorbed by area schools and the teachers from those closed schools would likely be absorbed at area schools as well.

The district has planned seven community input meetings to weigh-in on what cuts they believe are more important.

November 9, 2016 Zone 1 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Dunbar Community Center 1001 W. 16th Street

November 14, 2016 Zone 2 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Stephens Community Center 3720 W. 18th Street

November 16, 2016 Zone 3 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church 4823 Woodlawn

November 28, 2016 Zone 4 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Fulbright Elementary 300 Pleasant Valley Dr.

November 29, 2016 Zone 5 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Henderson Middle School 401 John Barrow Rd.

December 1, 2016 Zone 6 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Greater Second Baptist Church 5615 Geyer Springs

December 6, 2016 Zone 7 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Southwest Community Center 6401 Baseline Rd.

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