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Cleveland School Desegregation Settlement Gains Final Approval

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A federal judge is putting her final stamp of approval on a school desegregation case in North Mississippi. MPB's Alexis Ware reports.  

Cleveland's racially divided high schools and middle schools will merge beginning in the 2017-2018 school year. U.S District Court Judge Debra Brown signed an agreement on Monday allowing the schools to desegregate. 

The settlement was reached in January. A statement from the Cleveland School Board says quote "moving forward with a solid plan would serve the District, its students, faculty, parents and the community best in the long run." 

Sherry Shepherd is a parent in the Cleveland School District. She says the settlement is a good first step but won't solve all of the problems. 

"It provides the opportunity for consolidation but we have no reconciliation so right now it's difficult for me to forecast or envision us coming together because the Board has yet to provide the stakeholders a seat at the decision-making table."

Jamie Jacks is an attorney representing the Board. She talked with MPB News after the settlement. 

"Our community has some finality to this and everybody can get behind it and we can begin marketing the plan to try to encourage people to stay with us and stay in support of public schools which is so important." 

9th through 12th grade will now attend Cleveland Central High at the former Cleveland High School and Margaret Green Middle school.