Little Rock School et al v. Pulaski Cty School et al
ORDER informing anyone who made a filing may speak at the fairness hearing if they so desire at 9:30 a.m. on 13 January 2014. The Court directs the Clerk to mail a copy of this Order to everyone who filed a paper response to the notice of proposed settlement. Any proposed hearing exhibits are due in chambers by noon on 10 January 2014. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 1/3/2014. (jak)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL DISTRICT,
NORTH LITTLE ROCK SCHOOL
DISTRICT, et al.
LORENE JOSHUA, et al.
1. The Court has received and reviewed the parties' joint report about
notice of the proposed settlement. Nf1 4961. The parties have implemented
the Court's Orders, NQ 4941 & 4948, in letter and in spirit. And the Court finds
that reasonable notice of the proposed settlement has been given to members
of the Joshua Intervenors class, to the Knight Intervenors, and to the wider
public interested in this case.
R. CIV. P. 23(e)(l).
2. The Court has received nine filings in response to the notice and the
opportunity to object. The Court appreciates, and has been informed by, all
of them. Anyone who made a filing may speak at the fairness hearing if he
or she wants to do so. Everyone must be present in Courtroom 1-A of the
Richard Sheppard Arnold Courthouse, 500 West Capitol Avenue, Little Rock,
Arkansas, 72201, by 9:30a.m. on 13 January 2014. We'll proceed in the order
that the filings were made.
Some of the filings ask questions about the mechanics of the proposed
settlement and particular students. E.g., NQ 4955 & 4964. The districts may
respond directly to these individuals in writing next week, with a copy being
filed with the Court (under seal if need be to protect the students' privacy).
The districts should also respond in general in their presentations at the
hearing. Ola M. Ware and Samia Johnston have asked to be heard at the
fairness hearing. NQ 4963 & 4964. Requests granted. The Court notes the
objections from the Sherwood Public Education Foundation and the City of
Sherwood. NQ 4966 & 496 7. They support the proposed settlement in general,
but object to the last sentence in Section E(1), which pledges the State to
oppose the formation of any school district from PCSSD' s territory (except a
Jacksonville/North Pulaski area district) until the Court declares PCSSD fully
unitary. The Court is considering this objection as part of evaluating the
whole proposal. Finally, the Court notes the supportive filing by business
leaders from the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce and Fifty for the Future.
NQ 4968. The Court accepts this paper as a friend-of-the-court submission
about the proposed settlement.
3. After hearing from any objectors, or other filers who wish to speak,
the Court will hear from the parties. They should be prepared to begin their
presentations Monday afternoon.
The parties should respond to the
objections. Some brief testimony about the funding winddown, and how it
will affect district operations, would be helpful. Some testimony, perhaps
from LRSD, on the M-to-M and magnet school transitions would be
informative. The Court also requests evidence from the parties about the
proposed settlement's effects on PCSSD' s ongoing unitary-status efforts. This
is an important point, which goes to the proposal's adequacy.
23(e). Here the parties should, for example, address Sections A(1) and E(1)
and Rizelle Aaron's objection. NQ 4956.
4. The Court directs the Clerk to mail a copy of this Order to everyone
who filed a paper in response to the notice of proposed settlement. Any
proposed hearing exhibits are due in chambers by noon on 10 January 2014.
D.P. Marshall Jr.
United States District Judge
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