EFFECTIVE JULY, 2011
On June 20, 2011, Arkansas Education Commissioner Dr. Tom Kimbrell exercised his authority pursuant to the Omnibus Education Act of 2003 allowing the state to take over operations of the Pulaski County Special School District (“the District”). Dr. Kimbrell has appointed Dr. Jerry Guess as superintendent. Dr. Jerry Guess will administratively operate the District under the supervision and approval of Dr. Kimbrell. Accordingly, Dr. Kimbrell now serves as the “Board of Education” for the District. As a result of the state intervention, student disciplinary appeals and employee hearings, routinely heard by the District’s Board of Education, will now be heard by an impartial three-member panel which will make findings of fact and recommendations to Dr. Kimbrell for his consideration in making a final decision on the matters. The Commissioner will appoint five (5) members to the panel who will serve on a rotating basis, and the panel will be chaired by Mr. Danny Knight, a former educational administrator.
While the structure has changed at the appeal level, student disciplinary procedures remain the same at the school and the Division of Equity and Pupil Services levels. With regard to personnel matters, employees who receive a notice of recommended termination or nonrenewal may file a written request for a Panel Hearing, by sending the request by certified or registered mail to the Superintendent and the Panel Chairperson within the statutory time allowed for requesting a board hearing. Hand-delivery is also acceptable. Additionally, a copy of the request should be sent by regular mail to the Commissioner. Also, the additional procedures and guidelines for personnel hearings as set out in state law, which do not conflict with the directives herein, are applicable.
The District will notify the student and employee of the date, time, and place of the hearing. The student, employee, and the District may be represented by legal counsel if desired. In personnel matters, a written request for a full record of the proceedings must be filed with the Superintendent at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the time set for the Panel Hearing.
The state reserves the right to make revisions to these newly implemented procedures as deemed necessary during this transitional phase to ensure an efficient and fair process for all parties.
For employee hearings, send Panel Hearing requests by certified or registered mail to:
Mr. Danny Knight
2801 Harmony Cove
Sherwood, AR 72120
Dr. Tom W. Kimbrell, Commissioner
AR Dept. of Education
4 State Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201
Dr. Jerry Guess, Superintendent
Pulaski County Special School District
925 East Dixon Road
Little Rock, AR 72206