Monday, November 12, 2007

New Desegration Order Causes Controversy in Shelby County Schools

Posted By on Mon, Nov 12, 2007 at 4:00 AM

AP -- Officials in Shelby County, Tenn., complain they'll have to spend millions to satisfy a federal judge's "arbitrary" desegregation order. It'll mean busing minority students up to an hour away and replacing hundreds of white teachers with black ones, they say.

In Huntsville, Ala., under a similar court order, students can transfer from a school where they're in the racial majority, but not the other way around.

"So which ruling do I violate?" asks a perplexed Bobby Webb, superintendent of schools in Shelby County, where Memphis is located. "The judge's ruling now, or the earlier rulings that we can't discriminate against people on the basis of the color of their skin?"

Front-page court battles over integration are mostly a thing of the past. But according to the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, there are at least 253 school districts still under federal court supervision in racial inequality cases and those are just the ones in which Justice intervened.

Many of the more infamous names Boston, Little Rock, Charlotte, N.C. are gone from the list, having satisfied judges with their desegregation efforts and being granted what's called "unitary status." In the last two years alone, at least 75 districts have won such status ...

Read entire article.

-- Allen G. Breed

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