The Pine Bluff Branch of the NAACP will host another education forum to discuss possible consolidation of the three area school districts. The event will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, at Bethany Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, 1923 S. Olive St.


The NAACP is inviting teachers, students and patrons to attend the education forum.


“It is important that all stakeholders have a better understanding about consolidation for the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County community. We must do what is best for the future of our children,” a spokesman said in a news release.


A forum June 7 was held about the possibility of consolidating Pine Bluff, Dollarway and Watson Chapel school district for the continued success of students, to raise student achievement and to remove barriers that keep children from having a successful future in the city of Pine Bluff, according to the release.


Then-Superintendent Michael Robinson (Pine Bluff School District), Superintendent Barbara Warren (Dollarway School District), and retired superintendent Connie Hathorn (Watson Chapel School District) voiced concerns about school consolidation.


“Every superintendent agreed that for the betterment of the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County community that all schools, including White Hall, needed to be under one umbrella,” according to the release.


Other participants included University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Chancellor Emeritus L.A. Davis Jr., Robert Carr, provost and vice chancellor of academic Affairs at UAPB; Southeast Arkansas College President Steven Bloomberg, state Reps. Vivian Flowers and Ken Ferguson, along with some parents.


Irene Holcomb, Pine Bluff alderwoman emerita, is the chair of the branch education committee. Committee members are Mary Liddell, Kylon Montgomery (UAPB College Chapter), Wanda V. Neal, Piccola Washington and Katrina Williamson.


The committee felt that this forum would help the teachers, students and parents in the Pine Bluff community to get a better understanding of the direction that the city must look at to improve the school system, according to the release.


Details: Pine Bluff Branch President Ivan Whitfield, 870-643-7252, or Irene Holcomb, 870-536-5474.