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Judge Picks Buffalo's Reville To Assist in Little Rock Suit

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Eugene T. Reville, superintendent of the Buffalo Public Schools for the past 14 years, has been hired by a federal judge to work in an as-yet undefined capacity to assist desegregation efforts in three Arkansas school districts.

Mr. Reville's precise duties are expected to be set out in a written order by U.S. District Judge Henry Woods, who oversees the case brought by the Little Rock public schools against two adjoining school districts and the state.

Judge Woods said last week during a hearing on the case that he would issue his orders "very soon," according to sources who attended the hearing.

The judge also appeared to be on the verge of allowing Little Rock to dismantle a controversial "controlled choice" desegregation plan adopted two years ago, according to school officials and lawyers connected with the case. (See Education Week, Oct. 19, 1988.)

In comments from the bench, the judge indicated that Little Rock could proceed with the parts of its long-range desegregation plan that had been approved by a court-appointed monitor, they said.

The district has proposed assigning students to schools next year on the basis of geographic boundaries drawn to ensure that most schools would have a roughly 50-50 racial balance.

Under the district's plan, which has been supported by minority intervenors in the case, a handful of schools would remain predominantly black but would receive substantial extra resources as part of an effort to attract white students from surrounding districts.

It was not clear last week whether Judge Woods would accept the recommendation of Aubrey McCutcheon, the court-appointed monitor, to merge many of the administrative functions of the three districts. A federal appeals court had earlier rejected a motion that Little Rock be consolidated with the North Little Rock and Pulaski County school districts.--ws

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