778 F.2d 404 (8th Cir. 1985), 85-1078, Little Rock School Dist. v. Pulaski County Special School Dist. No. 1
|Docket Nº:||85-1078, 85-1079 and 85-1081.|
|Citation:||778 F.2d 404|
|Party Name:||LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL DISTRICT, Appellee, v. PULASKI COUNTY SPECIAL SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 1; Mac Faulkner; Charles Stratton; Don Hindman; Mack McAllister; Sheryl Dunn; David Sain; and Mildred Tatum, Appellants. Lorene Joshua, as next friend of minors Leslie Joshua, Stacy Joshua and Mayne Joshua; Rev. Robert Willingham, as next friend of minor Tonya Will|
|Case Date:||November 07, 1985|
|Court:||United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit|
Submitted April 29, 1985.
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Phil Neal, Chicago, Ill., for Pulaski County.
Phil Lyon, Little Rock, Ark., for North Little Rock School Dist.
Steve Clark, Atty. Gen., Little Rock, Ark., for Arkansas State Bd.
William Bradford Reynolds, Washington, D.C., for amicus Dept. of Justice.
Philip E. Kaplan, P.A. Hollingsworth, John M. Billheimer, Janet Pulliam, Little Rock, Ark., for Little Rock School Dist.
Theodore Shaw, New York City, for Joshua intervenors.
Before LAY, Chief Judge, and HEANEY, BRIGHT, ROSS, McMILLIAN, ARNOLD, JOHN R. GIBSON, FAGG and BOWMAN, Circuit Judges, En Banc.
HEANEY, Circuit Judge.
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, after trial, found that the defendants Pulaski County Special School District (PCSSD), the North Little Rock School District (NLRSD) and the Board of Education of the State of Arkansas (State Board) contributed to the continuing segregation of the Little Rock schools, and that an interdistrict remedy
was appropriate. The district court ordered consolidation of the three school districts, establishment of a uniform millage rate, elimination of discriminatory practices, and creation of magnet schools to enhance educational opportunities in the new district. It held that the State Board had remedial, financial and oversight responsibilities that would be detailed at a later date. The defendants appeal from the district court's order. In addition, the Joshua intervenors, representing black parents and students, filed a brief in support of the district court's judgment, and the United States filed an amicus curiae brief in general support of the appellants.
We hold that the district court's findings on liability are not clearly erroneous and that intra- and interdistrict relief is appropriate. We find, however, that the violations can be remedied by less intrusive measures than consolidation. These measures, most of which were suggested by the defendant school districts or the Joshua intervenors, include authorizing the district court to make limited adjustments, after a hearing, to the boundaries between Little Rock School District (LRSD) and PCSSD, correcting the segregative practices within each of the individual school districts, improving the quality of any remaining nonintegrated schools in LRSD, providing compensatory and remedial programs for black children in all three school districts, authorizing the district court to establish, after a hearing, a limited number of magnet schools and programs open to all students in Pulaski County, and requiring the State Board to participate in funding the compensatory, remedial and quality education programs, in establishing and maintaining the magnet schools, and in monitoring plan progress. We remand to the district court for action consistent with this opinion.
I. BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY.
Pulaski County is the most heavily populated metropolitan area in Arkansas, encompassing three independent school districts: LRSD, NLRSD, and PCSSD. The LRSD covers fifty-three square miles and comprises about sixty percent of the City of Little Rock. Although the population of the City of Little Rock is approximately two-thirds white, in the 1983-84 school year, seventy percent of LRSD's 19,052 students were black. Along with NLRSD, LRSD is one of the oldest continuously operating school districts in Arkansas. The NLRSD covers twenty-six square miles and comprises nearly all of the City of North Little Rock. Its 1983-84 student population was 9,051 (36% black, 64% white). The PCSSD surrounds LRSD and NLRSD. Created in 1927 through the consolidation of thirty-eight rural independent school districts, it covers 755 square miles and contains the remainder of the county not included in the other two school districts. In 1983-84, it had 27,839 students (22% black, 78% white). Each of the three districts currently operates under a court-ordered desegregation decree, and none of the districts has achieved unitary status.
On November 30, 1982, LRSD filed this action against PCSSD, NLRSD, the State of Arkansas, and the State Board. 1 On April 13, 1983, the district court dismissed the claim against the State of Arkansas but refused to take similar action concerning the State Board, holding that the Board is a proper party in light of its general supervisory relationship with the individual school districts, and the allegations that it has carried out its duties in a manner which increased segregation in Little Rock. The district court concluded that the dismissal of the State of Arkansas had no practical effect on the disposition of the lawsuit. Little Rock School District v. Pulaski
County Special School District, 560 F.Supp. 876, 878 (E.D.Ark.1983). The district court separated the liability and remedy phases of the litigation and held liability hearings from January 3-13, 1984.
On April 13, 1984, the district court issued its decision on liability, finding that PCSSD and NLRSD had failed to establish unitary, integrated school districts and had committed unconstitutional and racially discriminatory acts which resulted in "significant and substantial interdistrict segregation." Little Rock School District v. Pulaski County Special School District, 584 F.Supp. 328, 351-53 (E.D.Ark.1984). It concluded that...
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