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Jacksonville/North Pulaski School District election, explained

by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette , Nyssa Kruse | May 18, 2021 at 11:37 a.m.
The four candidates running in the May 18 election for the School Board for the Jacksonville/North Pulaski School District are (from left) incumbent Jim Moore, Theresa McClendon, Lauren Martin and Laura Walker.

This story is a part of The Article, your guide to Arkansas news and culture, presented by the Democrat-Gazette. Sign up for The Article's twice-weekly newsletter here or to see stories that have appeared in past newsletters, go here.

Three board seats are up for election in the Jacksonville/North Pulaski School District today, and voters will also see a question about the district’s millage on the ballot. Here’s what to know before heading to the polls.

Who’s running?

Zone 4

Theresa McClendon

14-year special-education paraprofessional in Milwaukee before moving to Jacksonville about a year ago

• Grandmother of a 4-year-old who will be starting school in the Jacksonville district

• Said reading and math achievement must be priorities

Laura Walker

• Jacksonville native and co-owner and operator of the Get A Grip countertop resurfacing company

• Mother of four young children, two of whom attend • Pinewood Elementary School

• "I want to see our city grow, to continue to grow," Walker said. "So many people fought to create our district out of the Pulaski County Special School District. I want to see that what they fought for turns out to be the very best that it can be."

Zone 1

Lauren Martin (unopposed)

Works at Double R Florist in Jacksonville

• Two children who attend Bobby G. Lester Elementary School

• "Our teachers deserve the best," Martin said. "Our students deserve the best. It is my goal to create a district that teachers want to work for.

Zone 3

Jim Moore (unopposed)

• Held the Zone 3 seat since 2015

• 26-year U.S. Air Force veteran, president and chief executive officer of the Stonewall Homeowners Association and is a member of the Jacksonville Planning Commission

• "I am dedicated to helping children and teenagers become the very best educated in whatever career they want to obtain," Moore said about his reasons for board service.

What is the millage question on the ballot?

Districts are required under the Arkansas Constitution to include their tax rates on the ballots in school elections, regardless of whether they seek a change. JNPSD is not seeking a change right now.

If there is no proposed change in a tax rate, then a district seeks a vote on its current rate and no matter what voters decide, the millage rate will remain at the level last approved.

So, in this election, the results of the millage question will change nothing, regardless of what the vote outcome is.

How and where do voters cast their ballot?

Registered voters who live anywhere in the Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District can vote in the election.

There are two polling locations, the Jacksonville Community Center at 5 Municipal Drive and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 2413 Northeastern Ave.

All voters can go to either location, and both are open 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Read more on the election from reporter Cynthia Howell.

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