Appeals court to weigh Ark. desegregation case

By the Associated Press | September 19, 2011 | 9:15 AM EDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments over whether Arkansas can stop making desegregation payments to Little Rock-area schools more than 50 years after troops escorted nine black students into an all-white school.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis will begin hearing arguments Monday about whether a judge erred in May by cutting most of the $70 million that the Little Rock, North Little Rock and Pulaski County districts receive to help them racially balance their schools.

The payments are part of a 1989 settlement after the Little Rock schools accused the other districts and the state of not doing enough to help them desegregate.

The state argues that the payments are no longer necessary.