The Crossett School Board hearing to determine what to do  about a board member who has not met certain state requirements that was set for Monday night was postponed because one of the school board members was unavailable. 

The Crossett School Board members set a hearing during their March meeting to hear from school board member Robert Cornelius regarding his Continuing Legal Education hours for school board service or lack thereof. 

The Arkansas Department of Education has pomulgated rules that state that, “A member of a local school district board of directors who has served on the board of directors for twelve or more consecutive months shall obtain no less than six hours of training and instruction by Dec. 31 of each calendar year.”

Superintendent Gary Williams told the other school board members at their March 8 meeting that Cornelius did not reportedly obtain the required training hours.

At that time, the board decided it did not need to hire an investigator to find out if there were extenuating circumstances that caused the reported failure to obtain training. After that, per its legal requirements, the board set a hearing at which Cornelius was supposed to present his reasons for not obtaining the training to the board.

The meeting was set for March 29, but it was also postponed at that time.

The state rules say that board members who do not obtain the required training should be, “Permitted 30 days from the date of the January board meeting to complete the deficient training hours,” and “Suspended from participating in official business, except for board member training, until the board member obtains the deficient hours.”

The rules also say that a board member who does not obtain the training hours “shall be removed from the board and the board members’ position shall be filled.”

However, the rules also allow for a board member to fail to receive training because of military service or if they can provide a sworn statement from their doctor stating that the board member couldn’t get training because of a serious medical condition.

Williams said on Tuesday that the school board wanted to wait until all members could be present and that the hearing was rescheduled for next week. 

The new date is 5 p.m. April 12  at the Crossett School District Administration Building.

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