MONROE, La. (AP) — A federal judge has approved a settlement agreement designed to resolve Justice Department claims that it found racial disparities at some of the public schools in a north Louisiana community.

The agreement approved Thursday by U.S. District Judge Robert James calls for the Lincoln Parish School Board to revise its student transfer policies and adopt a student assignment plan that would eliminate racial disparities in the four elementary schools serving the Ruston area.

The Justice Department says it found significant racial disparities in the student demographics at three of those four schools.

The plan must be implemented by the start of the 2012-2013 school year.

The settlement is part of a desegregation case that originally was filed in 1966.