Educational Issues and Controversies

Entry Category: Educational Issues and Controversies

Hot Springs Schools, Desegregation of

Hot Springs (Garland County), a tourist town, had one of the largest school districts in Arkansas at the time the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its 1954 Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision. Black students made up 14.7 percent of the school population, with 2,778 white and 522 Black students at elementary level and 1,942 white and 357 Black students at junior and senior high level. In October 1955, the Hot Springs School Board appointed an advisory committee of twenty-three white and five Black citizens to draw up plans for desegregation. In April 1956, the committee recommended beginning desegregation with a high school auto mechanics course. On September 4, 1956, the course admitted four white and six Black …

Lower Arkansas River Valley Schools, Desegregation of

Desegregation of schools in the Lower Arkansas River Valley began primarily because the one area school to which others sent their African American students raised tuition rates. As one school district in the area shifted from busing its students away to desegregating its own schools, the rest soon followed, motivated in part by avoiding litigation. The catalyst for desegregation in the Lower Arkansas River Valley was the Morrilton School District’s announcement of an increase in tuition fees for incoming Black students in fall 1964. Previously, several school districts in surrounding areas had avoided providing educational facilities for their small Black student populations by busing their students to the historically Black Sullivan High School in Morrilton (Conway County). On March 27, …