After reading what she wrote I can't help but wonder what in the world were the State Board of Education and the Arkansas Department of Education thinking. Obviously not about the children. Spending 4 hrs a day on the bus! Debbie described the convoluted method by which the students had to make. OMG!
That is a long, long grueling day for elementary and kindergarten students
There was absolutely no reason to close Paron. It was a excellent school and they could have used long distance learning to make sure they offered all the required subjects.
Testimony was given by superintendents that distance learning can be used for courses that will provide interactive learning where students can see the teacher and other students in other schools and even get college credit. Superintendent Smalley at Alpena said some of his students obtained 30 hours of college credit at his small school by time of graduation through distance learning.
The Paron attorney pointed out that there is zero discipline problems at Paron, there are no students requiring college remediation, there are no drop-out problems, and the students are scoring above state average on tests. Several parents testified about their involvement with their children at school activities on a daily basis. They all related that they would not be able to be involved with their children's activities if they moved to Bryant because of time and the transportation financial burden
Back to the question of why close this school, especially since the reasons they gave to close it were invalid?
Superintendent Abernathy admitted that they had enough money to keep the school open for now. Bryant school district received $838,000 from the State in "consolidation incentive funding" as well as fund balances and other property from the Paron School District for a total benefit to the Bryant School District of more than $1,000,000.
Yeah, somebody's pockets get lined with money. These administrators were more concerned about getting money than for the welfare of the students. Sheesh!