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Little Rock superintendent discusses the district’s future



Little Rock, Arkansas – Now that Jermall Wright, the superintendent of the Little Rock School District, is in his second year in office, it’s time to consider long-term strategies.

“I think that’s the challenge when you have so many different areas you know you need to address,” Wright said. “You can’t do it all.”

Lower enrolment in the district this year has an impact on the budget’s amount.

The district is having trouble funding itself in 2024. They anticipate having roughly $7 million less than they did the previous year.

Wright stated that LRSD’s student enrollment had decreased from 26,000 to about 20,000 over the previous ten years.

“We’ve got to adjust our staffing, our program, and even the number of school buildings we have,” Wright said.

Increasing student reading rates and enhancing school quality are among Wright’s other top concerns as he continues to consider the district’s future, particularly in light of Southwest High School’s ongoing “F” Department of Education rating.

“This is the fourth year, I believe, of Southwest, and we are on our third principle,” Wright said. “Just like when you look at leadership changes in our district, sometimes constant changes spur instability.”

However, the security of the faculty and personnel at the school comes first for him.

“People’s perception of safety is driving people to decide whether they are going to remain with us or not,” Wright said. “You can’t focus on learning if you’re in an environment where you don’t feel safe.”


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