ACLU: Ferguson-Florissant School Board Appeal Hurts Students, Keeps Racially Discriminatory System in Place

Affiliate: ACLU of Missouri
December 12, 2016 2:45 pm

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ST. LOUIS — The American Civil Liberties Union is slamming the Ferguson-Florissant School Board’s plan to appeal a federal court ruling that found the district’s electoral system to be racially discriminatory.

“At this time, the school board is spending more time enriching its attorneys than ensuring the best education for its students,” said ACLU of Missouri Executive Director Jeffrey Mittman. “Even after a multi-day trial with expert testimony, the school district continues to pretend the complex, well-documented set of factors contributing to lessening the power of African-American voters doesn’t exist.”

Earlier this year, a federal judge found the school district’s electoral system discriminates against African-American residents in violation of the Voting Rights Act after a lawsuit was filed by the ACLU. In November, the judge ruled in favor of a cumulative voting system to remedy the Voting Rights Act violation in the Ferguson-Florissant School District’s process for electing school board members. The Ferguson-Florissant School District did not offer any proposed remedies.

“The time and resources the school board continues to devote to defending its racially discriminatory election system, instead of educating its children, is shameful,” said Julie Ebenstein, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project.

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