- Associated Press - Friday, April 14, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Board of Education has voted to place the Lee County School District on probation for violating education standards on staffing and course offerings.

The board’s decision on Thursday puts the district and Lee County High School in jeopardy of losing state accreditation if they fail to correct the violations or commit similar violations in the 2017-18 school year, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/2oyHtOJ ) reported.

Lee County High School lacked a school counselor for the first semester of the 2016-17 school year. The school also failed to offer one-half unit of drama and one-half unit of social studies.

School board member Patrick Walton told the state education board that the local board disagreed with Superintendent Willie Murdock’s decision to reassign an English teacher to the counselor’s job. Walton said the local board wanted to draw from a pool of retired educators to fill the counselor position.

Walton said Murdock’s decision led to the English course being taught online.

“We don’t have a problem in Lee County,” Walton said. “We have communication problems between the board and the superintendent.”

Murdock told the education board that Walton’s allegations were false.

“We made recommendations on staffing, and those recommendations were denied,” Murdock said.

Murdock said the English teacher wanted the counseling job and could help a great number of students. She said a replacement English teacher has been identified.

The state Board of Education took control of the Lee County system in 2014 because fewer than half of its students had scored at proficient levels on state exams over a three-year period.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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