SEPTEMBER 8, 2005 - Posted at 8:03 a.m. CDT
LITTLE ROCK, AR - The state Education Board has voted to merge the tiny and fiscally struggling Parkin School District into the neighboring Wynne School District.
The merger passed 5-to-1 and is conditional on a legal review of possible desegregation obligations. Parkin schools that began classes August 19 could be shut down and 100 students sent to Wynne.
The Parkin and Earle school boards had requested the merger, but members denied the proposal. Earle has about 800 students and is about six miles away from Parkin. Wynne has about 3,000 students and is 15 miles from Parkin schools.
Arkansas education commissioner Ken James said there was no way Parkin could remain solvent through the school year.
Over two years the state board has merged 58 districts with fewer than 350 students as required by state law passed in a 2003 special session on education reform.