Changes raise concerns about desegregation cases

By MELINDA DESLATTE
Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Local school leaders say changes to the state's multibillion dollar school funding formula pushed by the Jindal administration could create problems with ongoing desegregation lawsuits in five parishes.

Avoyelles Parish school leaders had been hopeful they were nearing the end to federal oversight of their school system because of past segregation practices. But parish officials say the school funding formula changes will jeopardize that.

Parish District Attorney Charles Riddle says if lawmakers pass the funding plans, they'll be challenged in court because of possible wide-ranging implications on the civil rights cases.

State education leaders disagree, saying the funding changes don't affect the bottom line of whether every student has an equal opportunity at an adequate education.

The funding plans are one step from final legislative passage.

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