State Extends Offer in Desegregation Case

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August 18, 2009

LITTLE ROCK- Today, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel sent a letter extending an offer to the Little Rock, North Little Rock and Pulaski County Special School Districts in an effort to settle the long running desegregation case in Pulaski County.

This offer, if accepted, will set a clear ending date to the supplemental payments made by the state to the Pulaski County School Districts, which exceed $60,000,000 annually. It will also include a plan for fiscal oversight of the school districts leading up to and after the ending date.

"This is a good offer that will give the districts financial stability and allow them to move beyond this litigation so that they may focus on educating students and preparing the next generation of doctors, teachers and scientists," McDaniel said. "Moreover, the State will almost certainly save millions of dollars by resolving this matter now, as opposed to waiting until the matter is disposed of by both the trial and appellate courts."

The offer sets forth a seven-year plan to phase out the payments. Specifically, the State agrees to maintain funding at the current 2008-2009 level for the first year of the seven-year plan. During years two, three and four the payments will be reduced by $4,000,000 a year. The remaining three years will see funding reduce by $4,250,000 a year. The letter also outlines expectations that the districts will provide fiscal planning to support their use of the funding under the plan.

A copy of the letter can be found here http://arkansasag.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/deseg-offer-8-18-09.pdf