Education notebook

LITTLE ROCK -- The federal school desegregation lawsuit in Pulaski County became 41 years old last week.

The lawsuit was filed Nov. 30, 1982, by the Little Rock School District against state officials and the neighboring North Little Rock and Pulaski County Special school districts. The suit argued that actions by the state and the neighboring districts resulted in the Little Rock district serving a majority Black student body while the Pulaski Special and North Little Rock districts served a majority white student population.

The Little Rock, North Little Rock districts and the state are no longer parties, but the case remains active for the Pulaski Special and latecomer Jacksonville/North Pulaski school districts. Those two districts continue to have obligations to improve or replace school campuses.

On Wednesday, the Pulaski Special district filed a motion to extend a deadline for reporting to U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall Jr. on the status of its plan for enhancing Mills University Studies High School.

"The reason for the extension request is that the bid for Mills is out to the construction contractor," attorneys for the Pulaski Special district wrote.

"The bid is expected to come back in December 2023, or early January 2024," the legal team continued.

"Once the bid comes back, it will be presented to the PCSSD Board for a vote. Getting a 45-day extension would allow PCSSD to get through the December and the January board meetings, and hopefully allow the contractor to come back with a bid so that the Board can vote on it. That is the next major step in the process and PCSSD believes it would be in a better position to provide a more substantive update after that action."