State's Authorization of Little Rock-Area Charter Schools Doesn't Violate 1989 Desegregation Agreement, Federal Judge Says

News Details

Posted: January 18, 2013
Focus Areas: Authorizing, State Policy
States: Arkansas

A federal judge in Arkansas decided January 17, 2013, that the state’s authorization of charter schools has not violated a 1989 desegregation agreement involving the state and Little Rock and surrounding Pulaski County school districts.

Charter schools have had “very little, if any” impact on district desegregation efforts, according to U.S. District Court Judge D.P. Marshall Jr.’s order denying a complaint of interference filed by the Little Rock School District, among others.

The 30-page order includes discussion of whether charter schools should come under the 1989 agreement when they weren't allowed in the state until 1999, whether the charter schools amount to a “splinter district”, and jurisdiction for oversight of desegregation. Also included is an assessment of the impact of student transfers.