Teachers in Little Rock Public Schools are planning a one day strike this Thursday, November 14th, in response to the decertification of the Little Rock Education Association (LREA) and the ongoing battle with the Arkansas Board of Education.
The State Board of Education, which currently controls the Little Rock schools, voted to end the contract with the Little Rock teacher’s union effective October 31st.
The board further said they would give back local control, but only to the highest performing schools within the district. This leaves poor-performing schools, all of which exist in areas with a high minority population, still under state control. This move has drawn a number of comparisons, and rightfully so, to the segregated schools of the past.
“As educators, we would rather be in our classrooms with our students, not in a picket line,” LREA President Teresa Knapp Gordon said in a written statement. “However, this community and the passionate, dedicated educators of this district will do what is necessary to protect the future of our students.”
“Governor Hutchinson and his appointed state board of education are determined to segregate our public schools,” Gordon continues. “When they first tried it last month, this community joined with us, and, together, we blocked their plans. We must come together again to stand up for our students and our public schools.”
Many parents and students have expressed interest in joining the strike on Thursday, vowing to keep their students home and attend a noon protest that will take place outside the State Board of Education meeting at noon that day.