Little Rock schools may end era of federal supervision

(June 14, 2004) — (Little Rock-AP) -- Lawyers for the Little Rock School District and for a group representing parents of black students have a date in federal court today at Little Rock. They'll be arguing before U-S District Judge Bill Wilson about whether the school district should be released from court supervision of its desegregation efforts. In 2002, Wilson released the district from almost all monitoring, including supervision of extracurricular activities, discipline and hiring policies. But he retained jurisdiction over for the istrict's system for evaluating programs targeting black students. Lawyers for the district say school officials have done what the judge ordered to evaluate such programs. But Little Rock attorney John Walker says the district has not made a "good-faith effort" to complete its plan. Walker is the lawyer for a group called the Joshua intervenors, which represents parents of black children. The group was allowed to join the suit in the late 80s and has regularly challenged the district's attempts to be released from desegregation monitoring.