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story.lead_photo.caption FILE — Little Rock School District headquarters are shown in this 2019 file photo. ( Gavin Lesnick)

Employees at three Little Rock high schools and one elementary school must apply for and obtain open positions within the district in the coming weeks and months or risk not being re-employed for the 2020-21 school year.

Arkansas Education Secretary Johnny Key, who acts as the school board in the state-controlled Little Rock district, last week authorized Superintendent Mike Poore to declare vacant virtually all jobs at McClellan, J.A. Fair and Hall high schools and Rockefeller Elementary School's kindergarten-through-fifth grades.

The resolution on employment comes as the district moves toward fulfilling plans to close Fair, McClellan and Washington schools as well as opening the new Southwest High and converting Hall High to a magnet school that will be open to students in the district.

The Arkansas Board of Education in December directed that all positions at Hall be vacated and opened to all interested applicants. The district is seeking to treat all employees at the affected schools in the same way.

District leaders are projecting that fewer employees will be hired overall for the 2020-21 school year than are employed systemwide this school year but still expect to have jobs to fill.

"There will be many open positions posted throughout LRSD," the resolution states. "We encourage the affected employees to apply for these positions at the earliest opportunity."

It also says "teachers, building administrators and support staff who do not secure an open position could receive a recommendation for non-renewal."

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