Education Board Praises Bald Knob Schools

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The state took control of the Bald Knob School District in August after the district was in such fiscal distress that it could not meet its payroll.  Yesterday, the state Education Board commended the district for the work it's done to get its finances in order.

Supporters have raised $1.6 million of an estimated $2 million the district is to need by June 30.

Education Commissioner Ken James says he feels comfortable with what the district has done so far and that the state Education Department will continue to monitor the district's progress and finances.  Local control could be restored to the district by June 2009.

School districts placed in fiscal distress have up to two years to submit a plan showing how they will remove themselves from the classification, have the plan approved, and successfully implement the steps.  The district can then petition the board to be removed from the list.

Among positions the district cut to address the Bald Knob deficit were a band director, an elementary teacher, a secondary math teacher, an academic coach, a counselor and three classified positions.  Also, the district reduced its contribution to the employee insurance program, eliminated a sick leave bonus and restructured its debt.

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