Schoolhouse Beat

Consent decree concludes Tucson desegregation case after 4 decades

A federal judge has approved a consent decree to resolve a decades-long battle to end racial disparity in the Tucson (Ariz.) Unified School District. The Arizona Daily Star reports that the decree includes many provisions that aim to bring racial balance to the school system. The agreement calls for Tucson to begin offering culturally relevant courses in the next school year that focus on the history, experiences and culture of black and Latino communities, an apparent conflict with a state law that prohibits any courses "designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group."

In an interview with The New York Times, Rubin Salter Jr., a lawyer who has worked on the Tucson case for nearly 40 years, says little has changed for the black children whose right to a good education he had labored to defend.

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