Judge Tosses Arkansas’ School Choice Law

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A judge has tossed the School Choice law out statewide, according to a report from KTHV in Little Rock.

In a ruling issued Friday, U.S. District Judge Robert Dawson said the state’s Public School Choice Act of 1989 is unconstitutional.

State Department of education spokesperson Seth Blomeley says they still have to review the judge’s ruling to understand the details and what it means.

Blomeley released the following statement Friday afternoon:

“This morning, a federal district court judge ruled that the Arkansas Public School Choice Act is unconstitutional in its entirety.  That statute is one of a few statutes in Arkansas which allows students to attend school at a school district other than the school district in which the student resides.  I have asked my staff to review all the effects of this ruling on our students, parents and school districts, including on those students who were granted school choice approval under the Arkansas Public Choice Act prior to today’s ruling.  My staff will also be in consultation with the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office to determine what future legal steps, if any, the Arkansas Department of Education will take regarding this matter.”

Meanwhile officials with Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s office says they will review the decision and its impact on families that would be affected by it.

“We will be in discussions with the Department of Education about what our next steps should be,” said Spokesman Aaron Sadler.

The School Choice law says that if a student is attending a school that is failing, they can apply for a waiver to attend another school as long as the student’s race is not the majority. Click here to read more from Today’s THV.

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