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PCSSD Closer to Closing the Desegregation Gap

A judge declares PCSSD unitary in two areas.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Representatives from the Pulaski County Special School District were in federal court today to work out more desegregation issues.

PCSSD still needs to be declared unitary in some areas, meaning all students are proven to be treated fairly.

After today's ruling, the school district became unitary in two more areas including special education and scholarship.

They've previously received that status in the areas of gifted and talented placement, student assignment and multi-cultural education.

Now, PCSSD needs to prove itself in four more areas, then, it'll be considered completely unitary.

That's something the district's been working towards for the past 25 years!

PCSSD Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Janice Warren, calling today's federal court hearing an accomplishment.

She said, "I guess the beauty of it is there's an end in sight."

Dr. Warren says receiving unitary status -- following a desegregation lawsuit filed in the 80's -- has been anything but easy.

She said, "We walked away today seeing that as a victory for us. We're taking one step at a time, one area at a time. It has been a long time coming, but we see that light at the end of the tunnel."

To gain unitary status, representatives from several different organizations go inside the schools monitoring certain areas...like assignments and special education.

They also look at statistics proving all students, regardless of race, are learning and being treated the same.

"We were very pleased with the results and the outcome," Dr. Warren said.

That's because today, PCSSD took two steps closer to their goal as all groups, including a federal judge, agreed the district is now unitary in scholarships and special education.

PCSSD would like to be unitary in all areas in the next couple of years.

Little Rock and North Little Rock School District's already received unitary status.

The Joshua Intervenors attorney -- who represents African American families at local schools -- did not return our calls for comment.

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