University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

Ark-Centric News

In AR Legislature on January 6, 2012 at 8:43 am

Welcome Back!

We hope everyone had a great holiday break. Welcome to 2012. We would like to take a moment to catch you up on all the Arkansas Education News that has occurred over the last two weeks. It was a relatively quiet vacation as far edu-news is concerned. One exception to this calm would be for our friends in Pulaski County. A few major changes occurred in the Little Rock desegregation case over the holiday break.

If you are just now starting to pay attention to the desegregation case, you may want to check out the primer the OEP developed earlier this year to help our readers understand the longstanding case. In May 2011, Judge Brian Miller ordered the end to the millions of dollars in desegregation funding sent to the Pulaski County schools to maintain a racial balance. Over the holiday break, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against this decision stating that the state would have to specifically request an end to the payments in order for a judge to rule that the funds stop. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel  has not yet determined if the  state will file such a request.

In related news, U.S. District Judge Price Marshall ruled that charter schools in Pulaski County are allowed to defend themselves in the Little Rock desegregation lawsuit. The Little Rock School District (LRSD) has argued that charters are hindering the desegregation process by pulling out students who would otherwise attend LRSD into their charter schools. The charters have only been given authorization to defend themselves in the specific areas of the lawsuit that affects them.

STATE BOARD MEETING

There will be a state board meeting on Monday. As always, we’ll bring you updates here. You can check out the full agenda here and live stream the meeting here. It’s going to be a big meeting (It’s a 964 page Agenda!)

There will be the typical updates on Common Core and the Desegregation Lawsuits. Additionally, six schools will apply to become conversion charter schools. The majority of these schools are looking to create district-run STEM schools. Finally the ADE will review and presumably approve a number of rules that have been developed since the last legislative session.

There will be a report at the end of the meeting by Jamie Willis concerning the Jasper School District. Again, we’ll keep you updated. Welcome Back!

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