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Office of Desegregation Monitoring records

Office of Desegregation Monitoring records

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Finding aid for the Office of Desegregation Monitoring records

BC.MSS.08.37

Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
100 Rock Street
Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201
(501) 320-5700
arkinfo@cals.org

March 11, 2013



Repository: Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Creator:Office of Desegregation Monitoring. (Little Rock, Ark.)
Title: Office of Desegregation Monitoring records
Dates: 1950-2014
Quantity: 220.1 Linear feet
Abstract:This collection contains records from the Office of Desegregation Monitoring, including legal documents, correspondence, news clippings, maps, school profiles, monitoring and various other reports concerning school district compliances, operations, and policies.
Identification: BC.MSS.08.37
Language: English

Arrangement

The collection is arranged topically and alphabetically within seven series - Arkansas Department of Education, Little Rock School District; North Little Rock School District; Office of Desegregation Monitoring Library; Office of Metropolitan Supervisor; Pulaski County Special School District; Maps.


Scope and Contents

The collection contains legal documents, including court filings, motions, responses, orders, and exhibits. It also contains correspondence, news clippings, maps, school profiles, monitoring and various other reports concerning school district compliances, operations, and policies. ODM federal monitors have included: Ann S. Marshall, Judge Andrea Roaf, and Margie Powell. And the court cases were heard by five federal judges: Henry Woods (1982-1990), Susan Webber Wright (1990-2002), William R. "Bill" Wilson Jr. (2002-2009), Brian Miller (2009-2011), and D. Price Marshall (2011-2014). The office was closed June 30, 2014.


Historical Information

The Office of Desegregation Monitoring (ODM), a federal office created by the Eighth Circuit Court and charged with the duty of monitoring and assisting Pulaski County's three school districts - Little Rock School District (LRSD), North Little Rock School District (NLRSD), and Pulaski County Special School District (PCSSD) - to meet their respective desegregation obligations and mandates. ODM was preceded by the Office of Metropolitan Supervisor (1989-1990). ODM was preceded by the Office of Metropolitan Supervisor (1989-1990). However, after the death of Metropolitan Supervisor Eugene Reville in a car accident on March 17, 1990, the Office of Metropolitan Supervisor was converted into the Office of Desegregation Monitoring.

The Pulaski County School desegregation case was originally filed on November 30, 1982, when the LRSD, composed mostly of African American students due to "white flight" from the city, sued the NLRSD, the PCSSD (composed mostly of white students), and the State of Arkansas. Represented by the law firm of Heller, Friday, Eldredge and Clark, the LRSD sought to obtain a remedy for the effects of segregation practices, charging that the actions and policies of the other districts had racially segregated it. The suit asked that all three districts consolidate into one countywide district to address the issue. Two intervenors eventually entered the litigation. The Joshua Intervenors, with Lorene Joshua as plaintiff, hired civil rights attorney John Walker to represent African American students with the goal of eliminating racial discrimination and its effects in the LRSD. The Knight Intervenors had Katherine Wright Knight, president of the Classroom Teachers Association, as plaintiff.

The request to consolidate all three school districts into one was ultimately denied, but the districts were required to take steps to end the remnants of racial discrimination in their schools. The final plan involved a series of programs to improve education and attract white students from the suburbs. As a part of the settlement, the state agreed to subsidize the districts' desegregation efforts over several years.

The case came under the jurisdiction of the United States District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas, which eventually granted unitary status to two of the three districts. Unitary status is obtained when desegregation has occurred to a practical extent. At that point, the district is allowed to manage its affairs without federal court approval. The LRSD was granted unitary status in 2007 and the NLRSD in 2011. The PCSSD was approaching unitary status when the ODM was closed by court order on June 30, 2014.


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Central High School. (Little Rock, Ark.)
Education -- Arkansas
Little Rock School District. (Ark.)
North Little Rock School District. (Ark.)
Office of Desegregation Monitoring. (Little Rock, Ark.)
Public schools -- Arkansas
Pulaski County Special School District. (Ark.)
School integration -- Arkansas

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Unrestriced Access.

Restrictions on Use

Non-circulating, in-house use only.

Researchers wishing to access materials out of Series VII must contact Manuscripts Department staff one (1) business day in advance to allow adequate time for retrieval of the materials.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Office of Desegregation Monitoring records, MSS.08.37, Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Arkansas Studies Institute

Acquisition Information

Donated by Office of Desegregation and Monitoring, 2008


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