SELMA, ALA., AUG. 27 -- Black and white leaders trying to end eight months of racial protests over the public schools agreed today on a plan to share power on the school board.

The agreement worked out over the weekend was approved by the City Council and school board members of both races, said Mayor Joe Smitherman. The plan would give each race an equal vote, and the chairmanship would alternate between black and white.

Smitherman and council members reached the agreement in meetings Sunday with two dozen black leaders.

"I think we've got something good worked out," said Smitherman, who is white.

Black protesters were not directly involved in the talks, according to State Sen. Hank Sanders, who was less impressed with the arrangement than Smitherman. He said protests would continue.

The trouble began in December, when the five blacks on the 11-member school board walked out over a decision against rehiring Norward Roussell, the public school system's first black superintendent.

Daily protests, lawsuits, school boycotts, sit-ins and altercations with police followed. Roussell resigned in May, about two months before his contract expired, and settled a $10 million lawsuit against the school board for $150,000. Selma schools reopened Aug. 20, with blacks making up 80 percent of the student body of about 5,800.

Under the plan, five white and five black board members vote on all issues and chairman Carl Barker would vote only on litigation matters. The City Council promised to keep a racial balance on future boards and to appoint a black as board chairman when Barker steps down. The chairmanship would alternate between blacks and whites.

The full board is to meet Sept. 13. The white members of the board have continued to meet throughout the walkout.

Sanders said the pact does not give blacks equal power because Barker would control committee appointments and could vote on legal matters. The rotation would be fair, "but that may not come about under this present agreement for several years," he said. "The long and short of it is that at this point the protests would continue," Sanders said. "The black {school} board members would be back but that would be all."