LITTLE ROCK, AR - State officials today took control of the financially-strapped Bald Knob School District and have recommended its school be annexed into a neighboring district.
Arkansas Education Commissioner Ken James announced that school Superintendent Wayne Fawcett and Bald Knob's school board had been removed from power. The 1,300-student district will be under state control until at least the state Board of Education meets next month.
The district is projected to be $2 million in debt this year.
The district was placed in fiscal distress by the state in June for having a projected deficit of $479,000. The district had received a number of short-term loans to meet its operational expenses and owes $610,500 in loan payments this year.
As of August 13, the district had a bank balance of $18,142 and the state had to issue an early payment of $1.2 million in per-student funding so the district could pay its employees and pay a bank note due next week.
The state Board of Education will decide in a special meeting September 24 on the potential annexation of the Bald Knob district.
In the past several years, the state has had to take over three other school districts...Helena-West Helena, Eudora and Midland. Eudora was annexed into neighboring Lakeside School District and Midland will regain control of its school district after the September school board elections.