Cleveland County School District Board Member Resigns
When will the district run a millage? Or will it? Plus three student expulsions in one night.
It's been a curious month for the Cleveland County School District.
On Nov. 2, the school board met for a work session with Stephens Inc., to learn about the district's current — and — future finacial status.
South Arkansas Reckoning asked for the audio file from that meeting but was told the batteries died on the recorder so the audio was not available. With no recording, valuable information was lost to the community.
Under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, we obtained the 148-page booklet of the Stephens financial analysis.
In it a future millage is analyzed along with a page-and-a-half dedicated to “Millage Election Strategies.”
The booklet also included a timeline of events for a proposed millage if one should be on the March ballot.
Cleveland County School District Superintendent Jerrod Williams confirmed in an interview Tuesday morning in the school's Administration Building that the district will not have a proposed millage increase on the March ballot.
The Stephens report also showed enrollment in the district sharply declining from 824 students in fiscal year 2019 to 698 this year. Lately, the board has been voting against students transferring out of the district.
Here are the top taxpayers in Cleveland County as listed in the same report.
On Nov. 14, the school board held an expulsion hearing before its monthly board meeting.
In the middle of the expulsion hearing, school board member Stan Sadler left the meeting, according to the Cleveland County Herald. He did not return for the regular school board meeting, which South Arkansas Reckoning did not attend, that followed the expulsion hearing, the Herald reported. Sadler and his family, once owned the Herald and still contributes to its “Other Days” column.
On Nov. 16, Sadler turned in his resignation letter to Williams and others.
On Dec. 4, a special-called meeting for “expulsion hearings” was held.
Two board members, William King and Tony White, were not present. The four board members who were present — President Harrell Wilson, Helen Browning, Sheila Towery and Kelly Taylor — voted unanimously on three expulsions.
The students are expelled for the rest of the semester.