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State board OKs Dollarway School District annexation into Pine Bluff

by Cynthia Howell | December 10, 2020 at 4:02 p.m.
The Dollarway High School Fieldhouse is shown in this undated photo.

The Arkansas Board of Education voted 7-0 Thursday to annex the Dollarway School District into the Pine Bluff School District effective July 1.

The board vote comes five years after the 920-student Dollarway School District was taken over by the state for academic problems and later for fiscal distress issues.

Arkansas Education Secretary Johnny Key said Thursday that while progress has been made in the district's academic program, it has not yet reached a level where it can be sustained without state help. The district's financial situation is not stable as the result of year-to-year declining enrollment, he said.

Terms of the annexation, according to the motion passed by the Education Board, call for the expanded district to be known as the Pine Bluff School District. The district will operate under one superintendent, and the closure of any school campus, be it in the affected Dollarway system or in the Pine Bluff district, must be approved by the state Board of Education for as long as the Pine Bluff district remains under state authority.

Additionally, the state Elementary and Secondary Education Division will establish a transition committee with personnel from both the receiving Pine Bluff district and the affected Dollarway district to provide feedback and assist in communication efforts to the employees and community.

Check Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more details.

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