Due to concerns over wording and the amount of work the North Little Rock School board voted 5-2 during its Feb. 21 against a data recording and tracking policy requiring the District Director of Purchasing and the Director of Facilities Management track data regarding minority participation in district contracts and purchases.
The proposed policy would keep track of the dollar amount for each contract or purchase order awarded to a minority-owned business.
The policy would also require construction firms receiving district funds to submit to the Facilities/Construction Manager a subcontracting plan as part of the proposal phase as an evaluation factor as a requirement of RFP package detailing efforts to obtain a 20 percent minority business participation goal. The district facilities/construction manager and purchasing manager will monitor performance of the same and will report to the board on a regular basis upon request.
School board member J.T. Zakrzewski expressed concern about the amount of work for the district’s financial people.
School board member Darrell Montgomery said the abscan system would be able to generate reports and the district would be able to tell from there whether it’s a minority firm or not.
"I don’t think it would be that simple," Zakrzewski said. "I think it would be up to us to verify firms."
"No it wouldn’t," Montgomery said.
Board member Scott Miller asked if this would be required of all purchases while member Scott Teague said he was concerned about logistics and costs.
Board member Luke King asked the type of liability the district would have if it didn’t meet the goal.
"It’s only a goal," Montgomery said. He said the Little Rock School District passed a policy of 30 percent participation by minority business.
"I agree with the concept and intent," Teague said. But, he said, the school board’s attorney suggested that it not be put in place.
"I don’t see how it’s such a bad policy," Montgomery said.
The board voted the policy down by a 5-2 vote with Montgomery and Dorothy Williams voting "yes."
The board may consider the policy at the March 26 meeting.
In other business:
• Due to a conflict with Spring Break, the next school board meeting will be held on March 26 at 5:30 p.m.
• A revision of the Waffle House land acquisition proposal was approved by the board. The request would allow a professional appraisal of the property and another offer. If the second offer is not accepted, the school will seek advice on eminent domain laws.
• Steve Canady, coordinator of Safe Schools, was named to the Superintendent’s honor roll.
• Greg Fudge a student at the North Little Rock High School Sophomore Camus was named to the Superintendent’s honor roll.
• Eliysheba Evans, a senior at North Little Rock High School West Campus, was recognized for her work on the "I Like Big Books Project."
• Moe’s Southwest Grill and Lynch Drive Elementary were recognized as New Partners in Education.
• Arvest Bank and Seventh Street Elementary were recognized as New Partners in Education.
• WOW Foundation and Meadow Park Elementary were recognized as New Partners in education.
• Sonic at Camp Robinson and Amboy Elementary were recognized as New Partners in Education.
• The North Little Rock High School EAST Initiative Conference Team gave a presentation about what they do.
• The board was given a presentation of the district’s new Micro Web Site.
Upcoming events were also announced for the district:
• A board workshop will be held March 7 at 5:30 p.m. at the Administration Office Board Room.
• Spring Break Week is March 18-March 22.