The debate over public schools in Arkansas has been, for decades, ongoing and often fraught. In 1957, the Arkansas school year began with white mobs viciously attacking nine black teenagers as they attempted to desegregate Little Rock's Central High following Brown vs. Board of Education, shining a national spotlight on the state and forcing President Eisenhower to send in the 101st Airborne Division. This past January, nearly 60 years after Arkansas' first desegregation efforts, the state board of education dissolved Little Rock's democratically elected local school board, the most racially inclusive and representative of its majority-black constituency in nearly a decade. In making the decision, the state overruled widespread public outcry to take control of the largest school district in the state. Read more.
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