Cynthia Howell's gavel-to-gavel coverage in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (sub. reqd.) of the North Little Rock School District's effort to be declared "unified" and thus free of federal court desegregation supervision has been eye-opening.
It should give state officials cause for pessimism in thinking the state will soon be in the position of being released from the Pulaski County school litigation.
When 80 to 90 percent of the discipline in a school district goes to the 59 percent of black students, it doesn't look too good.
When you admit that you don't publish information about financial support for poor kids for field trips because you don't want to bust the bank, you have a problem.
When you say you have rules, but don't like to put them in writing, you have a problem.
When you admit that some schools in a majority black district have no black teachers, you give cause to question the sincerity of your desegregation effort.
The state, which oversees local school districts and pays billions for its many segregation sins, shares culpability for benign neglect. Its dirty hands also include encouragement of white-flight charter schools in Pulaski County. After five decades and billions of dollars, the state and its official actors, such as North Little Rock, prove to be slow learners. Federal Judge Brian Miller might provide a little remedial education.