UPDATE: NLR School Board Approves Bonus for Employees

UPDATE:

 NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-   Two weeks ago the NLR School Board voted to fill the vacant position with a woman  who does not live in the same zone. 

After her reporting  the board is now fixing the mistake. This afternoon the school board issued a special meeting to rescind the position. During that meeting they voted to approve the bonuses for employees.  

You can find more information below. 

http://media.arkansasmatters.com/nxsglobal/arkansasmatters/document_dev/2017/10/27/NLRSD%20School%20Board%20Documents%20Oct.%2027%2C%202017_1509139342453_28334773_ver1.0.pdf

ORIGINAL:

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Questions are being raised over the newest member of the North Little Rock school board. Just about two weeks ago a new person was appointed to represent a school zone. 

The zone 5 position encompasses most of Indian Hills in North Little Rock. It was opened up at the end of September. 

The school district released a memo asking zone 5 residents interested in filling the temporary school board position to apply. 

Someone who doesn't live in that school zone has now filled it. 

Cindy Temple lives in North Little Rock, specifically in the school district's zone 5. She also says she has a vested interest in the school's future because her grandson is an elementary student. 

"I felt like I have some complaints and if I'm going to complain I should try to be part of the solution," Temple said. 

When she heard her zone's board member seat was available, she and others applied. She says the letter asking for applicants said zone 5 residents send in a resume. 

"There were three candidates from the zone and there was a fourth candidate that did not live in the zone," Temple said. 

At the end of the meeting the school board voted to appoint Hannah Chambers, who does not live in zone 5. 

"She made it clear that she didn't and they made it clear that they were aware of that," Temple explained. 

North Little Rock superintendent Kelly Rodgers says the district made an informed decision and spoke to lawyers before appointing Chambers. 

"We did consult with legal council. The legal council agreed that it is permissible to choose someone outside of the zone for this short period of time," Rodgers said. 

Rodgers says she won't be able to run for the seat in the November 2018 election. 

We spoke with the Arkansas School Board Association policy services director. He says according to state law, if there is a school board vacancy it should be filled by someone who resides in the same zone. 

Temple says regardless of who has the seat now, she is confused about how this decision was made. 

"The way it all happened, it just left questions. It wasn't transparent," Temple said. 

The Arkansas School Board Association policy services director did say legal minds can disagree when it comes to interpreting certain laws. 

We spoke to Chambers Wednesday afternoon on the phone. She says she does not reside in zone 5 and declined to be interviewed for the story.


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