Dr. Bettye Wright, former superintendent of Dollarway School District
Dr. Brendly Clark, former superintendent of Dreamland Academy
Education Commissioner Dr. Tom Kimbrell
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The State Board of Education makes some big decisions including shutting down a charter school and firing a superintendent and school board.
The State Board of Education denied the renewal of Dreamland Academy's charter at the meeting Monday.
The board brought out the recent scholastic audit and it showed students were not performing at adequate levels.
Parent and Dreamland Academy board member Imani Sublett says she is upset with the decision and she says she will move her children out of state.
"I am so upset right now because my daughter was degraded. I went to the superintendent in the Little Rock School District and nobody did anything. My children were bullied. One was at the verge of suicide," says Sublett.
Dreamland's superintendent Dr. Brendly Clark says student achievement is up this year. Clark says literacy scores went up 50 percent among grades 3 to 5. Clark also says the school offers great programs such as tutoring and Saturday school. Clark says teachers monitor students' success through the Smart Accountability Program.
The State Board of Education voted unanimously to take over the Dollarway School District. Originally, the school was going before the state because of inconsistencies over its transcripts. State board members brought up the district's financial issues.
It's also the only school district in the state to have its State Improvement Grant (SIG) revoked. Superintendent Doctor Bettye Wright says she was shocked when the board fired her and got rid of her school board. Wright says the state should have taken other measures to help the school district.
"Options like having an oversight committee from the State Department of Education. Something like that to monitor what is going on. And I thought we were coming here to talk about the transcripts," says Wright.
Commissioner Tom Kimbrell says Wright should not have been caught off guard.
"No, I know I've had a conversation with the superintendent and said any of those could be likely decisions by the board," says Kimbrell.
Covenant Keepers College Preparatory Charter School has been placed on one-year probation after a financial audit.
The superintendent has been scrutinized over an audit about finances and not completing the audit by the April 20 deadline.
Dr. Valerie Tatum says she did not know it was against the law to take out a personal loan for the school to cover ongoing costs. The audit includes concerns over the school's petty cash account not being reconciled, lack of accounting records, improper coding of revenues, and loans bearing interest used to cover operating costs.
The State Board of Education voted unanimously to allow Little Rock Preparatory Charter School to have a second facility on University Avenue by UALR.
School Executive Director Ben Lindquist says this will allow them to grow to 432 students which is the charter school cap. He says the second facility will house middle school students.
The school is trying to figure out a way to transport students to the second facility. For next year's budget, Lindquist says he has planned $90,000 for a bus.