Judge OKs Pact Ending Ark. Desegregation Payments

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A federal judge said Monday that Arkansas can stop making payments in one of the nation’s most historic desegregation efforts but cautioned that work remains to ensure Little Rock-area students receive a proper education.

The state has made more than $1 billion in payments to three Little Rock-area school districts since 1989 to aid desegregation efforts. Under the deal approved by U.S. District Judge Price Marshall on Monday, those payments will end in four years, even though one of the districts still hasn’t been declared desegregated.

“I think this is a day we can write in the book and draw a circle around and remember that we did something important,” Marshall said. He said his objective was to ensure the agreement among lawyers for the state, the districts and black schoolchildren was fair, reasonable and adequate.

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