Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Does majority black school, open to all, uphold segregation? | McClatchy Washington Bureau

Does majority black school, open to all, uphold segregation? | McClatchy Washington Bureau:

Does majority black school, open to all, uphold segregation?

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A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments on whether the opening of a charter school in rural Louisiana violated a decades-old desegregation order.
Court briefs state that Greater Grace Charter Academy is in a district west of New Orleans that is 62 percent black. But the school opened with a 93 percent black enrollment.
Louisiana's education board approved the school's charter and U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman allowed the opening last August. He noted the school has a non-discriminatory enrollment policy. He said blocking the opening would punish students who chose to enroll there.
Opponents argue that approving a nearly one-race school "is contrary to the goals of desegregation."
Arguments were scheduled Tuesday morning at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
Greater Grace Charter Academy is one of a growing number of public schools operated by independent authorities with permission from state or local education authorities. Greater Grace was granted a charter by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, according to court records.
Feldman's approval for opening was required under state law because the district has been under longstanding desegregation orders since the 1960s, according to the court record.
Among those arguing that Feldman should allow the school to open were the U.S. Justice Department and the St. James Parish School Board. According to the court record, the operators of Greater Grace received a charter from BESE after being rejected by the St. James board.
In it's brief, the St. James Board says the court should reverse Feldman's order allowing the school to open, or, as an alternative, establish guidelines under which charter schools can operate in districts that are still under desegregation orders.
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