LRSD seeks financial stability through strategic schedule modification


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Little Rock, Arkansas – The Little Rock School District (LRSD) is implementing significant cost-cutting measures to address a $15 million budget shortfall. A recent decision by the LRSD board will see middle school schedules undergo changes to achieve these financial savings. In a unanimous vote, the board has opted to transition from the current block scheduling to a more traditional six-period day, a move anticipated to contribute substantially to the district’s budget reduction efforts.

The alteration in scheduling, as explained by Dr. Shay Loring, LRSD’s Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Schools, initially considered a seven-period day. However, the final decision landed on a six-period format. Under this new system, students will engage in six classes daily, with English, math, and science held every day. The remaining three classes will follow an A day/B day rotation.

This scheduling change is not only a financial strategy but also aims to optimize educational delivery. By reducing class periods from 90 to 63 minutes, the district believes it can still offer high-quality core content instruction while providing students with greater elective choices and extracurricular activities. Dr. Loring emphasized the importance of maintaining a balanced educational experience for students, ensuring that, despite budget constraints, opportunities for enrichment and personal growth remain available.

Financial Implications and Future Plans

The move to a six-period day is part of LRSD’s broader “path to $15 million” cost reduction plan. Through this specific scheduling change, the district anticipates saving around $1 million, although the exact figure will depend on the completion of course selections, open enrollment numbers, and the subsequent determination of staffing needs across schools.

Dr. Loring mentioned that the district would have a clearer picture of the financial savings in the coming month. Additionally, the draft plan indicates that the new schedule will lead to the elimination of 11 positions, contributing to the targeted $1 million savings. This strategic adjustment reflects LRSD’s commitment to fiscal responsibility while striving to preserve the integrity and quality of its educational offerings.

As the LRSD navigates these financial and operational challenges, the focus remains on balancing budgetary constraints with the educational needs and interests of its students. The forthcoming months will be crucial in assessing the impact of these changes and adjusting strategies as necessary to ensure the district’s long-term sustainability and success.


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