A Shared St. Louis: School Desegregation - KMOV.com

A Shared St. Louis: School Desegregation

The lawsuit that prompted the famous school desegregation plan was originally filed in 1972. An African-American parent, Minnie Liddell, sued the St. Louis City School Board charging that her son was denied acess to a school because of his race. Years later, the state of Missouri and surrounding county districts were added as defendants.

In 1980, the District Court ordered the implementation of a desegregation plan within the city schools, and three years after that the districts involved entered into an agreement that created a "voluntary interdistrict transfer program." The program allowed African-American students from the city to attend certain schools in the county, and white students from the suburbs had the chance to attend city schools.

The plan evolved over the years and got mixed reviews.

Here's a link to William Freivogel's 2003 28 page article about the deseg plan.

Here's a link to a 1998 article in the Washington University Law Quarterly.

Today, several thousand city students are still bused to county schools, and about 9,000 city students attend charter schools, according to Dr. John Wright, who recently serviced as interim Superintendent for the St. Louis City School District.

Dr. Wright, who wrote his dissertation on the deseg plan, believes that one of it's greatest legacies will be the improved race relations it inspired in many students and staff.

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