School Choice Ruling In Blytheville

Aug 31, 2015

State Department of Education Building in Little Rock.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

A federal appeals court panel has affirmed a judge's ruling that the Blytheville School District acted properly when it opted out of Arkansas' School Choice Act and blocked the request of several white parents to transfer their children to neighboring districts.

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Monday that the parents' request was moot because the Legislature amended the law in 2015, striking the language in question. Under the 2013 law, school districts could opt out of school choice if they were subject to a desegregation order.

The majority-black Blytheville district was one of about two dozen districts that claimed the exemption that year. Two of the judges wrote that the parents had not met the constitutional challenge to receive damages.