Too many schools? - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Too many schools?

Updated:
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Original victim files suit against OBGYN

    Original victim files suit against OBGYN

    Friday, April 18 2014 12:00 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:00:19 GMT
    PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The Paragould OB/GYN accused of taking nude photos of some of his patients had his first court appearance Thursday. He was arrested Wednesday night at a Newport hotel. Dr. Paul
    The patient that brought all of this to the forefront has now filed civil suit against the doctor and explained in detail what Becton allegedly did to her during that exam that she said led up to him taking nude photos of her.
  • NEW: Malpractice suits dismissed against arrested doctor

    NEW: Malpractice suits dismissed against arrested doctor

    Friday, April 18 2014 2:18 PM EDT2014-04-18 18:18:42 GMT
    JONESBORO, AR  (KAIT) – A Paragould doctor accused of taking nude photographs of at least one patient is due in court again on May 30, but more information is coming to light after his arrest. Dr. Paul
    A Paragould doctor accused of taking nude photographs of at least one patient is due in court again on May 30, but more information is coming to light after his arrest.
  • Fire burns vacant home in SW Jonesboro

    Fire burns vacant home in SW Jonesboro

    Friday, April 18 2014 12:34 PM EDT2014-04-18 16:34:25 GMT
    JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – A portion of Southwest Drive is closed this morning as crews are work on a house fire. According to Jonesboro dispatch the home is vacant. Southwest Drive has been closed from
    Southwest Drive was closed during the morning rush Friday after crews battled a house fire.

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-  Consolidation.

It's a buzzword in Arkansas education.

The state fights for it and small schools fight to save themselves from it. 

Meanwhile, supporters say it's a fight to save money.

But does consolidation really save any money?  And would it work in Craighead County?

Those are questions we posed to area educators including Dr. Radius Baker, superintendent of Valley View Schools.

"Craighead County is unique, Simply because you have 8 school districts, and 6 of those 8 are in the city limits of Jonesboro," he says.  "Actually some of the property is in the city limits of Jonesboro."

Dr. Baker says the idea of consolidation someday to a county-wide school system in Craighead County is intriguing.

According to the Arkansas Department of Education, during the 2012-12 school year, more than 16,600 students were enrolled in K-12 in those 8 districts.

That's 8 superintendents.

And 8 superintendent salaries.

Comparing strictly enrollment, the Pulaski County Special School District in Little Rock is similar with just short of 17,000 students and just one superintendent, Dr. Jerry Guess.

"You are going to add specialized positions to take care of those services that are required in that bigger district," says Dr. Guess.

Consolidation is nothing new to Dr. Guess.  He's been through a consolidation before in his career, even shuttering the school he attended.

He says if a school is meeting the financial and educational needs of the community then, "I think that district is doing a good job and would be hard to justify merging that district with others."

But what about those big superintendent salaries?

The 8 superintendents in Craighead County make more than a million dollars a year combined.

Those schools, however, have combined total budgets of over 150 million dollars.

Which means that even if you got rid of the superintendents and didn't replace them at all, the schools in Craighead county would only save .6%.

"i understand where that comes from when you see that salary, but that's only one person," says Chip Layne, superintendent at Bay.

He says administrative consolidation actually adds staff.

"They need them now in the current format," Layne said. "It's kind of silly to think you wouldn't need them if you went together."

A 1999 study of consolidation by the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators backs the claims of all three men.

Following 30 years of Arkansas consolidations, only 15 districts of 113 actually saved money the following year.

Dr. Baker says he knows people will say the administrators just want to save their jobs.

"I've announced my retirement. I'm not here to keep my job," he says. "I am here to make education as good as it can be in Craighead County. And i think we've shown as Craighead County schools that we are doing the best that we can. Can we do better, of course we can."

For a link to the consolidation study, click here ».

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved

 

Powered by WorldNow

472 Craighead Co. 766
Jonesboro, AR 72401
(870) 931-8888

FCC Public File
publicfile@kait8.com
(870) 336-1816
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KAIT. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.