Federal judge rules El Dorado schools cannot use school choice, violates desegregation law

EL DORADO, Ark. (AP) - A federal judge says the El Dorado School District cannot participate in the state's school choice law because doing so would violate a 1971 desegregation order.
U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey sided Wednesday with the school district, which requested the order after the Arkansas Board of Education approved a family's transfer last month into the nearby Parkers Chapel School District.
The judge wrote that participating in school choice would have a "segregative impact" on the El Dorado district.  Sixteen school districts in Arkansas have claimed an exemption from the school choice law, citing desegregation concerns.
Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin, a proponent of school choice, called Hickey's order "another example of federal over-reach."


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