HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — A meeting slated for Thursday night to discuss a consent order requiring Madison County Schools to create a desegregation advisory committee was postponed.

On July 5, an agreement was reached in the long-standing school desegregation case between the Madison County Board of Education and the Department of Justice.

After that, a federal judge issued a consent order requiring the school district to provide equal access to gifted and talented services as well as other academic programs, ensure non-discrimination in student discipline and improve practices for faculty recruitment, hiring, assignment, and retention. 

The consent order includes creating a desegregation advisory committee like the one formed by concerned parents of students in the Huntsville City school district. 

The Madison County school district held a news conference to discuss the plan of action.

There has been some progress as the groundwork is in place for the district to have parents of students be part of the desegregation process. 

“We’re still developing certain strategies and so once information with that is available, it will be made public on how families or stakeholders in our community can participate,” said Dr. Rachel Ballard, Director of Equity and Innovation for Madison County Schools.

The purpose of the committee is to present a separate voice about issues, in addition to that of the school district.

Some of the areas of the expected improvement in the consent by the Department of Justice are; identifying and removing existing barriers for black students, hiring more Black teachers and faculty, and training staff on classroom behavior management. 

The Madison County Board of Education meeting has been rescheduled for early August.