Integration of Public Schools

February 8, 2007
SHEFF v. O'NEILL:
Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied
The ACLU has been fighting for integrated schools in Hartford, CT for over a decade and recently reached a new agreement that will help meet the demand for integrated education in the Hartford region. Read More >>
THE FUTURE OF VOLUNTARY SCHOOL INTEGRATION
>> Supreme Court's Recent Decision on Voluntary School Integration
>> Manual on Voluntary School Integration from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (January 2008)
>> Integration Options for Latino Children (February 2008)
In 1954, the Supreme Court overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) mandate that had served to enforce the second-class citizenship of black Americans for decades after emancipation, ruling in Brown v. Board (1954) that "Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." More than fifty years later, the vision of quality, integrated schools for all our nation's children remains a dream deferred. According to recent research from the Harvard Civil Rights Project, the number of so-called "apartheid schools" - those that are 90% or more students of color - is large and growing, with more than one in six black children and one in ten Latino children attending such schools. Often concentrated in urban areas with middle-class, majority-white suburbs nearby, students of color are frequently isolated not only by race, but poverty.

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In our ever-more diverse nation, the ability to interact with and learn from people from different backgrounds is a critical component of every child's education. The Racial Justice Program aims to improve, equalize and integrate our nation's schools. Despite the Supreme Court's recent decision rejecting the constitutionality of voluntary school integration programs in Seattle and Louisville, RJP believes that school integration programs remain a viable and important means of creating diverse educational opportunities for all children.

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