Arkansas Code Title 6. Education § 6-13-1504. Election




(a)(1) Not later than the thirtieth day after the date the State Board of Education receives a petition or resolution under this subchapter, the state board shall hold a hearing on the validity of the petition or resolution.

(2) To be valid, a petition or resolution shall:

(A) State the purpose for which the petition or resolution is being submitted;

(B) Contain a plat or map of the proposed new school district;

(C) Contain an independent feasibility study stating:

(i) Cost of operation of the new school district and the ability to operate the new school district taking into consideration the tax base, debt service, and division of assets to the new school district;

(ii) A list of the public school assets to be transferred from the existing school district to the new school district;

(iii) The size of the new school district;  and

(iv) The effect of detachment on court-ordered desegregation;  and

(D) Be signed by at least ten percent (10%) of the number of voters in the area proposed for detachment who voted in the most recent general election.

(b)(1) If the state board determines that the petition or resolution is valid and the petition or resolution does not conflict with subdivision (b)(2) of this section, the state board may, after complying with subdivision (b)(2) of this section, order an election on the proposition of detachment to be held at the next annual school election or general election.

(2)(A) The state board shall not order any creation of a new school district by detachment under this subchapter or any other act or combination of any acts that hampers, delays, or in any manner negatively affects desegregation efforts of a school district or districts in this state.

(B) Prior to the entry of any order for election on the question of detachment, the state board shall seek an advisory opinion from the Attorney General concerning the impact of the proposed detachment and creation of a new school district on the effort of the state to assist the affected school district or districts in the desegregation of the public schools of this state.

(3) The order for election on the proposition of detachment shall:

(A) Contain a plat or map of the proposed new school district;  and

(B) Comply with all requirements and procedures set forth in § 6-14-101 et seq. that do not conflict with the provisions of this subchapter.

(c)(1)(A) The state board shall certify two (2) copies of the detachment order and convey one (1) copy to the county clerk and one (1) copy to the county election commission at least sixty (60) days prior to the date the commission sets for election on the question of detachment.

(B)(i) No later than forty-five (45) days prior to the election, the county clerk of each county affected shall identify all persons who reside within the area proposed to be detached, and the county clerk shall determine the names and addresses of all qualified electors residing within that area.

(ii) The failure to identify all persons residing within the area proposed to be detached or the failure to determine the names and addresses of all qualified electors residing within that area shall not invalidate or otherwise affect the results of the election.

(C) All of the qualified electors residing within the territory to be detached shall be entitled to vote in the election.

(D) The petitioners shall give notice of the election by publication of at least one (1) insertion in a newspaper having general circulation in each school district from which territory is being detached.

(2)(A) The county clerk shall prepare a list by precinct of all those qualified electors residing within the area to be detached who are qualified to vote in that precinct and furnish that list to the election officials at the time the ballot boxes and voting machines are delivered.

(B) If the county clerk or the county election commission shall fail to perform any duties required, then any interested party may apply for a writ of mandamus to require the performance of the duties.

(C) The failure of the county clerk or the county election commission to perform the duties shall not void the detachment election unless a court finds that the failure to perform the duties substantially prejudiced an interested party.

(d)(1) The ballot shall be printed to permit voting for or against the proposition in a manner similar to the following:  “Creation of a new school district by detachment of property and territory that includes the following property and territory from the _____________ School District:  _____________.”

(2) The ballot description of the property and territory to be detached shall be sufficient to give general notice of the territory affected.


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