Judge Oks pact ending Ark. desegregation payments

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge has approved a settlement allowing the state of Arkansas to stop making payments to three Little Rock-area school districts to aid their desegregation efforts.

U.S. District Judge Price Marshall signed off on the pact Monday after hearing several hours of testimony from opponents of the deal and lawyers for the signees: the state, the districts and black schoolchildren.

Since 1989, the state has given the Little Rock, North Little Rock and Pulaski County Special school districts more than $1 billion, total, above their regular state appropriations.

The money goes toward magnet schools and transporting students from districts where they'd be in the majority to those where they'd be in the minority.

The state will continue making payments through the 2017 fiscal year.

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