NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Wider Implications Of Charlotte Busing Decision

September 14, 1999

On Friday, a federal judge ordered an end to forced busing of students to achieve racial integration in the Charlotte, N.C., public school system -- setting the stage for changes throughout the nation, observers say.

"This is a milestone that foreshadows the end of forced busing," commented Clint Bolick of the Institute for Justice. He added that "this shows that social engineering is not the way to achieve desegregation."

  • Legal experts predict that parents will go to court in other jurisdictions which are under court supervision and seek an end to force busing.
  • More than 500 of the nation's 16,000 school systems remain under court supervision.
  • Beyond the issue of busing, the decision has implications for other tactics used to desegregate schools -- particularly the 4,200 magnet schools serving 1.5 million students nationwide, supported by $98 million in annual Department of Education grants.
  • The Legal Defense Fund of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People says it will appeal the decision, but the Charlotte school district has not decided what course it will take.

Parents of students both black and white have become increasingly critical of heavy-handed, race-based policies they say are interfering with their children's education.

Source: Dennis Cauchon, "Busing Ruling Will Affect Schools Across the USA," USA Today, September 13, 1999.


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