Is LRSD Gambling with Funding? (AP Analysis)

by Kelly P. Kissel, The Associated Press  on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 8:41 am  

A different judge is now on the case and has refused to delay the hearing. McDaniel told legislators this week that since one federal judge was already OK with ending the payments immediately, it shouldn't be hard to convince another.

Under the deal's terms, Pulaski County would likely still engage in desegregation efforts because it hasn't yet been declared fully integrated as the other districts have. Still pending in Pulaski County are questions about its facilities, discipline and student achievement.

Also, the state would be able to allow the creation of a Jacksonville School District, carved from the Pulaski County district, and money would be dedicated, for a limited time, to the continued use of magnet schools and student transfers to schools where they would be in the minority.

And, a key point for McDaniel, the districts would give up their right to sue again.

The Legislative Council set a Tuesday night deadline for the Little Rock School District to get on board, and the Little Rock board has scheduled a Monday meeting to consider whether they will sign on or stay out.

The possible outcomes over the next five weeks: An agreement is approved for the districts to receive $280 million over the next four years, a court order grants continued funding into perpetuity or the payments' immediately end.

So, is the Little Rock School District taking a gamble worthy of a lottery promotion?

You bet, but like all games of chance, only time will tell if theirs is a risk worth taking.

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