Leader Blues

Friday, November 28, 2008

TOP STORY > >District jobs may be on the line

Leader senior staff writer

Jobs or contract renewals of top Pulaski County Special School District administrators could be on the line when the school board meets in special session at 6 p.m. Monday.

Some board members question whether Superintendent James Sharpe and other administrators moved quickly enough to move children out of harm’s way after engineers in September questioned roof safety at two Pulaski County Special School District elementary schools, and Sharpe has commissioned a study into who knew what, and when.

Last month, the board went into executive session at a special meeting to consider firing Sharpe, but emerged and said they would consider his employment at a future meeting.

Also on the agenda for the special meeting Monday are status reports on the Crystal Hill and Clinton Elementary School roof repairs. Crystal Hill students are temporarily attending class in portable classrooms set up at the Maumelle Elementary School and Clinton students are attending class at the North Little Rock Assembly of God.

Engineers for Baldwin and Shell have inspected the roofs and said it would take six to eight weeks to fix the Crystal Hill roof and four to six weeks to fix the Clinton roof.

The board recently hired Sam Jones, the district’s lawyer on desegregation issues, to review the contracts of district administrators.

Jones’ orders are to review those contracts of “the superintendent, assistant superintendent, deputy superintendent, executive directors and directors of PCSSD with reference to board policies, contract language and the Arkansas Teacher Fair Dismissal Act in order to advise the PCSSD Board of the legal authority to act on personnel issues concerning those positions.”

Personnel is also on the agenda, which covers the board if it decides to consider the contract of Sharpe or any of the others.

Assistant superintendents and directors include Brenda Bowles, assistant superintendent for equity and pupil services; Deborah Coley, assistant superintendent for human resources; Larry O’Briant, chief financial officer; Beverly Ruthven, deputy superintendent for learning services, and James Warren, executive director for support services.