desegregation.jpgLITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ A federal judge has ruled that Arkansas can end most types of state desegregation funding to three Little Rock-area school districts.

U.S. District Judge Brian Miller's order Thursday allows legislators to end much of the estimated $70 million a year the state pays to the Little Rock, North Little Rock and Pulaski County school districts.

Many lawmakers have long wanted to cut off the payments, which are intended to help the three districts successfully desegregate.

In a ruling, Miller declared the Pulaski County and North Little Rock school districts “unitary,'' or substantially desegregated, in several areas. A federal judge had declared the Little Rock district unitary in 2007.

Miller said continuing the payments would delay desegregation. He says the time has come “for all carrots to be put away.''