PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. -- The Pulaski County Special School District is pleased with the decision by Chief U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall Jr. declaring it to be a unitary district. The ruling, announced on May 6, is subject to one final issue.
Over the past several years, PCSSD worked hard towards closing achievement gaps, eliminating disparities, and placing high expectations on all of our staff and students. The final issue to be resolved relates to facilities discrepancies between Mills University Studies High School and Robinson Middle School. The judge directed that the district create a plan to “comply … and square up” the construction differences to be presented by August 1, 2021.
“This ruling by Judge Marshall validates that our professionals, students and families are on the right path to ensure all students in PCSSD are given a high quality education to pursue their best life,” said Dr. Charles McNulty, superintendent of schools for PCSSD. “Our work is just beginning as we continue to advance equity and excellence throughout all our schools and communities!”
Judge Marshall spent a substantial amount of time in July 2020 listening to, and observing, the hard-working educators at PCSSD. In the 68-page opinion, Judge Marshall wrote that “the Court has no doubt whatsoever about [the educators’] good-faith commitment to PCSSD’s desegregation plan.”
Institutional frameworks like AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) and PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) are contributing factors to the improvements in academics and discipline. Additionally, culturally responsive teaching and restorative practices are an important part of instruction for all educators.
Further, PCSSD is thankful that Judge Marshall found that “the Districts’ commitment to educating all students fairly and faithfully is deep.” Our mission is, and always will be, equity and excellence across our District.