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Judge: Stephens School District Must Merge with Others

Action taken after the district in Ouachita County falls below the 350-student threshold.
STEPHENS, AR - A federal judge has rejected a south Arkansas school district's request to block a planned merger into neighboring school districts. 

Earlier this month the State Board of Education voted to annex the Stephens School District (Ouachita County) into the Camden-Fairview, Magnolia and Nevada County school districts. 

The Stephens School District fell below 350 students for average daily attendance during the 2013-2014 school year.  

According to state law, falling below that enrollment threshold requires the district to find a district with which to annex into or have the State Board of Education make the selection. 

The school district asked the judge to issue a temporary restraining order and injunction that would stop the annexation until a hearing could be scheduled on the issue. 

The judge did rule there will be a hearing before the consolidation takes effect in July and before staff contracts end on June 30. 

A date for that hearing has not yet been set.

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