By Associated Press - Thursday, March 10, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Board of Education has voted to return local control to the Pulaski County Special and Helena-West Helena school districts.

Both districts had been under state control for about five years because of financial mismanagement and overspending. The board voted Thursday to lift the fiscal distress classification for both districts and return them to local control, following the election and training of local school boards.

The Pulaski County district has more than 16,000 students in central Arkansas, while the Helena-West Helena district has about 1,425 students in eastern Arkansas. This summer, the newly formed Jacksonville North Pulaski School District will split from Pulaski County to form its own district.

Arkansas’ annual school board elections are in September.

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