Little Rock schools brace for possible teachers strike

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP)   Little Rock’s school district is bracing for the possibility of its first strike in decades because a state panel this month voted to strip the local teachers union of its collective bargaining power.

The Little Rock Education Association’s contract with the 23,000-student district ends on Thursday, and the state Board of Education earlier this month voted to no longer recognize the association as the district’s sole bargaining agent after that date.

The head of the 1,800-member union has not ruled out the possibility of a strike, which would be the district’s first since 1987.

The district has been under state control since January 2015. Community and union leaders say the end of collective bargaining undermines the board’s plan to put the district under the control of a local school board that will be elected in November 2020.

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