Overview

Friday, Eldredge & Clark has decades of experience representing Arkansas school districts. We have represented school districts in cases involving constitutional rights, employment, special education, contracts, bonds, elections, voting rights, real estate, and other issues.

We counsel school districts regarding compliance with the Arkansas Teacher Fair Dismissal Act, Public School Employee Fair Hearing Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”), 20 U.S.C. 1400, et seq., the Voting Rights Act, Title IX, the Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. 4071, and other federal and state laws governing school districts, their students, and employees. Our education lawyers also represent school districts in cases involving constitutional issues such as free speech, religion, and student searches.

Representative Cases

Little Rock School District v. Pulaski County Special School Districtet al., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12833 (E.D. Ark. Feb. 23, 2007)

The present phase of this case began in 1982, when the Little Rock School District sued the other two Pulaski County school districts and the State of Arkansas in an effort to preserve desegregated public education in Little Rock and to improve educational opportunities for LRSD students, particularly African-American students. Friday, Eldredge & Clark became lead counsel on this case in 1987. After more than 20 reported decisions in federal district court and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, this case has resulted in increased diversity through the voluntary interdistrict movement of students to magnet schools in LRSD and to other schools throughout Pulaski County, as well as the implementation of programs designed to improve academic achievement. In February 2007, the district court held that Little Rock School District is a unitary school district which should be free from further federal court supervision. That decision was affirmed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals on April 2, 2009.

Lake View School District v. Huckabee, 370 Ark. 139, 257 S.W. 3d 879 (Ark. 2007)

The Little Rock School District intervened in this case contending that students in Little Rock and throughout the state were not receiving an adequate education as required by the Arkansas Constitution. After several years of litigation, the Arkansas Supreme Court agreed, finding “that public school funding was inadequate and that substantially equal educational opportunity was not being afforded to Arkansas students.” The Lake View case resulted in substantial education reform including increasing funding for pre-kindergarten programs and for students who live in poverty.