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— It’s official. Gentry School District has been released from the fiscal distress status invoked by the Arkansas Board of Education a year and a half ago.

The State Board action came on Monday morning, and Dr.

Randy Barrett, superintendent of Gentry Public Schools, shared word with school board members at a special Monday night meeting of the board.

News of the release was published on the ADE Briefs Web log of the Arkansas Department of Education Monday morning.

“The Arkansas State Board of Education this morning approved removal of eight school districts from fiscal distress designation: Concord, Gentry, Hartford, Hermitage, Mammoth Springs, Mineral Springs, Murfreesboro and Westside Consolidated,” the Web log announced. “All of the school districts have met the conditions showing that their districts have achieved fiscal stability. Many of the district representatives thanked the Arkansas Department of Education for its assistance through the process of improving their financial situations. As one superintendent said, “As a result of the process, our district is much better off than it was a year ago.”

In a Monday evening e-mail communication to staff of Gentry Public Schools, Barrett wrote: “The State Board of Education voted today (Monday, October 12, 2009) to release the Gentry School district, and seven other districts form the fiscal distress classification. As I reported such to the school board this evening at a special meeting, the board requested that I pass on their thanks and appreciation for the part that each of you played to help our district reach this point. I echo those sentiments as well.

“There were sacrifices made, large and small, by everyone. In the midst of it all, I believe you kept your eyes focused on the mission of the district - providing a quality education for the students we serve.

That’s being a true professional and I salute your efforts.

“Thank you,” Barrett wrote.

Barrett also relayed thanks to the school board members for their hard work in resolving the financial crisis of the district, and he emphasized the importance of the board’s role - as well as his own - in being diligent to never let the district get into similar financial difficulty again.

News, Pages 1 on 10/14/2009

Print Headline: It’s official: Gentry Schools were released from fiscal distress on Monday

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