A federal judge in Arkansas is hearing arguments about whether to approve a settlement agreement that would allow the state to stop making payments to help fund racial integration in three Little Rock-area school districts.
U.S. District Judge Price Marshall was considering Monday whether the state's plan to end $70 million in annual payments in 2018 is fair to the districts, students and employees.
A proposed agreement going before a federal judge could soon end decades of court battles and $1 billion in state funding to three Little Rock area school districts. U.S. District Judge Price Marshall will hear arguments Monday and Tuesday on whether to officially end the dispute rooted in the 1957 Central High School desegregation fight.
Marshall in November tentatively approved the plan calling for payments to end in four years after the state pays an additional nearly $70 million a year to the districts. Marshall cannot modify the agreement - only approve or disapprove it.
Governor Mike Beebe linked the future economic well being of Arkansans with attainment of higher education in his weekly radio address. Arkansas is near the bottom of the list of states in adults with college degrees, ranking 49th.
Governor Beebe voiced a timeline for improvement in his address.
Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Thursday show the rate of lung cancer is in decline around the nation. The same is true in Arkansas. After a steady increase for a number of years, the state has seen a sharp decline in lung cancer from around 84 cases per 100,000 people in 2007 to 70 cases per 100,000, according to Dr. Gary Wheeler of the Arkansas Department of Health. Though he says the state struggled for many years to prevent a rise in lung cancer.
Former U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson's campaign says he raised more than $445,000 in the last three months of 2013 in his bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.
Hutchinson's campaign on Friday announced that he ended 2013 with more than $1.3 million in the bank as he seeks the state's top office. Wednesday is the deadline for candidates to file their fundraising reports for the quarter that ended Dec. 31.