A planning meeting was held May 4 at the Williford and Ravenden Springs campuses of the Twin River's School District which is facing closure at the end of the school year.
The meeting was conducted by the Governor's Dislocated Workers Task Force to coordinate the resources available in the area to assist communities and dislocated workers who will be affected by the upcoming closures.
During the meeting, various leaders of both community and the counties discussed the needs for these affected workers.
Speakers at the meeting included representatives from the Arkansas Workforce Center, Arkansas Insurance Department, Family Service Agency, Consumer Credit Counseling Service and the Arkansas Department of Human Services. There were also representatives on hand from post secondary schools, a consumer advocate and a representative speaking on claiming unemployment benefits.
Unemployment benefits are something former Twin Rivers teacher Robert E. Rose claims can not be filed for at this time. He said, "We could not expect anything from the state employment office because we are not officially unemployed until they say so."
According to Tony Lowe, a local advocate for saving the school district, a group of about 50 teachers and patrons of the school district will be meeting in Little Rock May 10 before the Board of Education. The main topic of the agenda is the department's recommendation to consolidate the Twin Rivers School District into multiple surrounding districts. This is something many thought was resolved when State Education Commissioner Dr. Tom Kimbrell dissolved the school board and announced plans to close the schools.
The group who has raised money to hire an attorney to help save their school on civil rights violation allegations will speak with their attorney at the meeting.
Other meetings for the potentially displaced workers will be held at both campuses. May 19, the Dislocated Workers Taskforce will conduct a meeting at 4 p.m. at the Oak Ridge Central campus and at 4 p.m. May 20 at the Williford campus.
Patrons, teachers and concerned citizens are urged to attend the meeting.