Arkansas districts appeal denial of school-choice exemption

(AP) - The Arkansas Department of Education has denied four
districts exemption from participating in Public School Choice Act student
transfers across district lines in the 2018-19 school year.The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Hope, Lafayette County, Junction City and Camden Fairview districts are now appealing the denials to the state Board of Education. The appeals will be heard on March 8.

Leaders in the four districts say interdistrict student transfers will put their school systems in conflict with federal court-ordered school desegregation obligations.

The 2017 School Choice Act allows Arkansas students to attend public schools in districts other than the one in which they live in, so long as there is space available in the desired district. The Education Department says more than 13,600 students exercised school choice options in 2016-17.

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