Garland County School Choice
Jessieville School District does not participate in school choice pursuant to the Public School Choice Act of 2015, which allows students to transfer from the district where they live (the “resident district”) to another district (the “non-resident district”) without consideration of the race of the student or the racial makeup of the enrollment in either school district. Instead, Jessieville remains subject to a federal court order in Davis v. Hot Springs School District, Case No. 6:89-cv-6088 (United States District Court for the Western Division of Arkansas), regarding the desegregation of the seven Garland County school districts. That court order requires Jessieville – and the other six Garland County school districts – to allow school choice transfers only if the requirements of the Public School Choice Act of 1989 are met. The 1989 Act prohibits a student from transferring to a nonresident district where the percentage of enrollment for the student’s race exceeds that percentage in his resident district. An exception to this rule allows transfers without consideration of the racial percentages of each school district when the school districts do not have minority student enrollment of more than 10% of any single race.
More information regarding Garland County School Choice can be found in this Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner’s Memo.
Jessieville School District welcomes students of all races and ethnicities and wishes that every school choice application could be accepted. However, under the current federal court order, race is a determining factor in acceptance or rejection of school choice applications in every Garland County School District. Recent legal attempts through the court system to be released from the requirements of the Public School Choice Act of 1989 have met with opposition and have been unsuccessful to-date.
The school choice application can be found here: 2020-2021 School Choice Form