September 28, 2017

Segregation returns to southern public schools

Nation - The South's schools were once the most integrated in the country, thanks to the heavy hand of the federal government as it tried to force Southern districts to abide by Brown v. Board of Education. But in the last three and a half decades, the number of black students attending segregated schools in the South has increased to nearly 36 percent. The federal government's retreat is a main factor in the return of segregated schooling in the South. Without the feds watching, local school boards are prone to make decisions that end up separating kids by race.

Six decades after Brown v. Board of Education, federal judges and officials rarely check to see if districts are obeying their orders to desegregate. Schools in districts with a history of discrimination against black children have actually grown more segregated under federal supervision."

"With Trump in office, it's probably only a matter of time before the number of federal desegregation orders drops again, possibly to zero. Trump's team is opposed to using consent decrees to keep the pressure on school districts and make sure they've fulfilled their promise to erase the legacy of Jim Crow, arguing that the courts and the Justice Department need to get out of these local matters. Civil-rights lawyers say they've already heard rumors of districts gearing up to ask the courts to lift their orders, assuming the Trump administration won't fight them.

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