What now on school choice | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What now on school choice

Posted By on Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 6:57 AM

Attorneys for the plaintiffs who won a decision striking down a strict racial test on school district transfers offered a modest interim proposal yesterday — act like they'd won the case entirely and let school transfers proceed without any consideration of race and potential resegregation.

I'm guessing Judge Robert Dawson won't bite on that. He'll likely stay his ruling, but it's hard to imagine he'll let plaintiffs pretend like they won entirely the right for unlimited transfers. He's said the racial rule was inextricably bound up in a statute aimed at addressing the state's historical burden to correct segregative practices. He declined to give the plaintiffs approval to transfer from Malvern to the almost all-white Magnet Cove school district. He's called for work on a more nuanced state approach to school transfers.

If all existing transfers are held invalid, districts who've given up students in the past are worried about staffing up for a return of those students. Districts staffed up for the past transfers worry about having to lay off unneeded teachers.

The obvious short-term solution — the fairest one — is to allow students now participating in the transfer plan to continue, but not to allow new transfer applications. The judge might also allow new transfers approved under old guidelines.

In the end, the legislature will have to come up with a new plan. You'll see here that the Republican leadership wants unfettered transfers for any reason. What that will mean is a mass exodus of white students from districts with high minority enrollments, just as witnesses testified. The U.S. Supreme Court's rollback of desegregation law means race can no longer be a sole determinant of choice laws. But they haven't yet said that segregation can't be considered in any fashion, particularly in districts with histories of discrimination. Financial health, academic performance and economic background of students all are factors on which the state might try to shape a rational transfer policy. Though, inevitably, these are issues that wind up related to race.

Another way to jump this hurdle would be to go to countywide school districts and thus eliminate some of the weird territorial issues that develop and encourage transfers for racial reasons. That won't happen, of course.

Tags: , , ,


Favorite

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • UA-Little Rock copes with enrollment decline and charter high school

    UA-Little Rock is facing a financial pinch because of a sharp drop in enrollment and Chancellor Andrew Rogerson talked bluntly about it Friday in a campus meeting, remarks that included a reference to simmering unhappiness over the eStem charter high school that opened on campus last year.
    • Sep 22, 2018
  • Huckabee used to promote re-election of tax cheat Mickey Gates

    A reader reports that re-election billboards for felony-charged tax deadbeat Mickey Gates, the Republican state representative from Hot Springs, feature an endorsement by Mike Huckabee.
    • Sep 22, 2018
  • Demonstrators, small crowd greet Mike Pence at French Hill rally

    Demonstrators have been allowed near the front door of the Statehouse Convention Center where carefully screened guests, not many, will be enjoying Mike Pence's endorsement of Republican Rep. French Hill. Plenty of security and I think it might be more fun outside.
    • Sep 21, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • Latest Obamacare repeal bill would hit Arkansas treasury hard

    The latest effort to undo Obamacare, the Graham-Cassidy legislation, would shift federal support for health coverage to a block grant system to the states. Bad news for Arkansas.
    • Sep 18, 2017
  • The two cities of Little Rock: East/west, black/white

    The Little Rock City Board illustrated this week a community divided over public schools, another blow to the Little Rock School District and another illustration of the need for ward elections to the board.
    • Mar 23, 2017

Slideshows

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation