|Updated: 5/19/2011 10:12 pm
||Published: 5/19/2011 8:59 pm
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR – A federal judge Thursday granted a petition by the North Little Rock School District to be released from court supervision in all but one area of the NLRSD Desegregation plan.
The court found that the school district did not substantially comply with its plan relating to minority recruitment. The judge ordered the district to maintain records of their recruiting efforts, and in 2 years it can have the ruling reconsidered.
“We’re obviously very excited by Judge Miller’s ruling today,” said Shara Brazear, a spokesperson for the district.
An attorney for the school district said of the ruling "In all, I think it's been a good day for North Little Rock. I was hoping for, I guess you could call it, total victory where we've been completely relieved from court supervision.”
However, now the district has to come to terms with the other portion of the judge’s ruling: The loss of their share of $70 million in desegregation funding they receive every year.
Attorneys for the district are reviewing the 110 page ruling, trying to figure out how they will make up for the loss. “That’s something we will have to address as we come to it,” says Brazear.
All three affected districts will have the summer to work on their budgets. North Little Rock says jobs are not on the line because of the ruling. However, due to the court supervision, they say hiring practices will have to change.
Thursday’s ruling comes on the heels of the Arkansas Department of Education’s decision to place NLR on the fiscally distressed list. School districts that are in fiscal distress are unable to take on debt without ADE’s approval.