NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The North Little Rock School District is no longer under court supervision.
Tuesday, federal judge D.P Marshall ruled the district is unitary. It reverses a previous judge's denial of the district's request to become unitary.
As of Tuesday, federal monitor Margie Powell in the Office of Desegregation Monitoring will no longer supervise the North Little Rock School District. The federal court says it is "formally unitary."
"I think the North Little Rock School district should be commended," says Powell.
For the past year, the district has fought to reach unitary status.
"It was declared unitary in one area all but staffing. When that happened the North Little Rock School district appealed that decision," says Powell.
Arkansas is required by a 1989 settlement to fund magnet schools, transfers between districts, and special desegregation programs to achieve racial balance in North Little Rock, Little Rock, and Pulaski County Special School Districts.
Those costs add up to about $70 million a year and $4 million goes to North Little Rock Schools.
School Board Vice President Scott Teague says the entire Central Arkansas community should be excited about this new ruling. It could actually help businesses.
"It had a negative cloud and impact when it comes to recruiting businesses," says Scott Teague.
School District Communications Director Shara Brazear says the district will continue to include the $4 million in desegregation funding into its budget.
"If anything changes in the state, we will monitor and adjust accordingly," says Brazear.
Their budget along with Powell's job as a federal monitor is contingent on the Pulaski County Special School District. Powell's desk is filled with that district's paperwork to help it too become unitary.
"They will get there one day too. And then they can move on and so can the state," says Powell.
Powell says in the 21 years she's been monitoring the districts, she says the hardest part for these school districts to change was discipline.