Federal officials investigate practices that lead to school segregation

April 20, 2010
Justice Department says some school systems undermine desegregation decrees
From The Washington Post: More than half a century after courts dismantled the legal framework that enforced segregation, Obama administration officials are investigating an array of practices across the country that contribute to a present-day version of segregation that they say is no less insidious. Although minority students have the legal right to attend any school, federal officials are questioning whether in practice many receive less access than white students to the best teachers, college prep courses and other resources. Lawyers also are investigating whether minority students are being separated into special-education classes without justification, whether they are being disciplined more harshly and whether districts are failing to provide adequate English language programs for students who are not fluent.Earlier...from The Washington Post: A federal judge has ordered the Walthall County district in southwestern Mississippi to stop segregating its schools by grouping African American students into all-black classrooms and allowing white students to transfer to the county's only majority-white school. For years, the school board has permitted hundreds of white students to transfer from its Tylertown schools, which are about 75 percent African American and serve about 1,700 students, to another school, the Salem Attendance Center, which is about 66 percent white and serves about 577 students in grades K-12. The schools are about 10 miles apart.

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