LITTLE ROCK — The presiding judge in the Pulaski County school desegregation lawsuit Wednesday approved a notice for public comment on a proposed settlement in the case.
Last week, U.S. District Judge D.P. Marshall Jr. gave preliminary approval to the proposal that would end state payments to the Little Rock, North Little Rock and Pulaski County Special school districts to help fund desegregation programs. The districts and lawyers representing black students and school employees agreed to the settlement negotiated by state Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.
The attorney general’s office posted information about the settlement and notice of the comment period on its website Wednesday, as did the state Department of Education.
A fairness hearing on the proposal is set for Jan. 13. Members of the affected class will have the opportunity to present evidence and objections to the settlement at that time.
Those eligible to object to the proposal include Joshua Intervenors, who are defined by the court as “all current, past and future LRSD, PCSSD and NLRSD black students, their parents and next friends,” as well as the Knight Intervenors, a group of certified and non-certified staff organizations and individuals employed by the school districts.
Affected parties may submit written comments to U.S. District Court Clerk James W. McCormack by Dec. 23. The address is Richard Sheppard Arnold United States Courthouse, 600 W. Capitol Ave., Room A149, Little Rock AR 72201, Attn: Desegregation Case-Proposed Settlement Agreement.