Desegregation of Detroit Public Schools

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					Desegregation of Detroit
Public Schools

                Milliken v. Bradley
  LaVonne Meyer, Mary Neal, and Michael Hoffman
Racial Tension and White
                  In „40, 90.8% of Detroit
                   residents were White
                      By „74, 71.5% of
                       Detroit‟s student
                       population was African
                  Between 1950 and
                   1970, the city lost
                   338,000 residents
                      metropolitan region
                       gained almost 1.4 million
12th Street Riot of 1967
                 Riot started on July
                  23, 2007 and lasted
                  for five days
                 National guard made
                  7,200 arrests, left 43
                  dead, and 467 injured.
                 Over 2000 buildings
                  burned down
                 12th Street later
                  becomes Rosa Parks
Mayor Coleman Young
   Racism is like high blood pressure – the person who
    has it doesn‟t know he has it until he drops over with
    a goddamn stroke. There are no symptoms of racism.
    The victim of racism is in a much better position to
    tell you whether or not you‟re racist than you are.
   I issue a warning to all those pushers, to all rip-off
    artists, to all muggers: It‟s time to leave Detroit; hit
    Eight Mile Road! And I don‟t give a damn if they are
    black or white, of if they where Superfly suits of blue
    uniforms with silver badges. Hit the road.
School Desegregation Through
2nd Half of 20th Century
           June ‟50 Heman Sweatt admitted to
            UofT Law School.
           May ‟54 Brown v. Board of Ed.
           Sept. ‟57 Little Rock Central High
           Sept. ‟61 District court dismisses
            Highland Park desegregation case
           Oct. ‟62 Riots at University of
            Mississippi over first black student
           July ‟64 Johnson signs Civil Rights Act
           Early ‟69 Oakland County NAACP files
            suit complaining that Pontiac schools
            are deliberately segregated
School Desegregation Through
2nd Half of 20th Century (cont.)
   Feb. ‟70 Court finds Pontiac intentionally
    violated 14th amendment but school
    officials appeal and delay busing order.
   April ‟70 Detroit school board alters
    attendance boundaries of 12 high schools
   Aug. ‟70 Bradley v. Milliken challenges
    April ‟70 plan
   April ‟71 busing authorized to desegregate
    public schools in North Carolina
   July ‟71 85 school districts added as
    defendants in Milliken I
   Aug. ‟71 Pontiac ordered to desegregate
    and the KKK blows up the buses that
    Pontiac needs to integrate.
   Sept. ‟71 Dist. Ct. rules on Milliken I
School Desegregation Through
2nd Half of 20th Century (cont.)
   June ‟74 School
    desegregation in Boston
    triggers rioting
   July ‟74 Milliken I reversed in
    Sup. Ct.
   Nov. ‟75 DeMascio orders
    “modest” desegregation plan
   Jan. ‟76 22,000 children
    board buses and
    desegregation of Detroit
   June ‟78 Sup. Ct. declares
    colleges can use race as a
    factor in admissions
School Desegregation Through
2nd Half of 20th Century (cont.)
                  Aug. ‟81 Congress repeals
                   the federal law that funded
                   school desegregation efforts
                  1981 Detroit expands busing
                   and Ferndale begins it.
                  1988 Fed. Dist. Ct.
                   relinquishes oversight of city
                   schools desegregation
                  June ‟95 Sup. Ct. ends a
                   desegregation program in
                   Kansas City, Missouri
                  June ‟03 Sup. Ct. rules that
                   UofM can favor minorities in
April 17th Plan
   In 1970, DBE voluntarily began implementing
    desegregation plan
   Michigan legislature blocked integration
       Act 48 of Public Acts of 197 Prescribed “free
        choice” and “neighborhood schools
       Delayed transportation funding for blacks but not
        for whites
       State Transportation Aid Act expressly prohibited
        allocation of funds for racial balancing
   DBE‟s “optional attendance zones”
Nathanial R. Jones
   1956-1959 Executive Director, Fair
    Employment Practices Commission, City
    of Youngstown, Ohio
   1960-1967 Assistant United States
    Attorney, Northern District of Ohio at
   1967-1968 Assistant General Counsel,
    National Advisory Commission on Civil
    Disorders (Kerner Commission)
   1969-1979 General Counsel, NAACP
Paul R. Dimond
   With Jones on the brief for Bradley
   1975-1976 Director, Lawyer's
    Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
   Published “Beyond Busing” in 1985
   Now works for Miller Canfield in Ann
    Arbor and does mainly real estate.
Response to Ineffective Plan:
Milliken begins
   Class action suit, named for Ronald and Richard Bradley, brought by
    their mother, Verda Bradley against defendants including:
        Mich. Governer (Milliken)
        Mich. Attorney General
        Superintendent of Public Instruction
        State Treasurer
        Mich. Board of Educ.
        Det. Board of Educ.
        Det.‟s current and former Superintendents
   for their
        policies,
        actions, and
        inactions
   contributing to de jure segregation
De Facto v De Jure
   De facto segregation due to factors
    other than official policies and decisions
   De jure segregation is triggered by
    officials‟ policies or decisions that either
    create or maintain racial segregation.
School Desegregation
Caselaw: Pre-Milliken
   Time for “Deliberate Speed” has
    passed, Immediate Remedies Needed
       “The burden on a school board today is to
        come forward with a plan that promises
        realistically to work, and promises
        realistically to work now.” Green v. County
        School Board, 391 U.S. 430 (U.S. 1968)
Prior Caselaw (cont.)
   Remedy Based on Equitable Principles
       “In fashioning and effectuating the decrees, the courts will be
        guided by equitable principles. ... At stake is the personal interest
        of the plaintiffs in admission to public schools as soon as
        practicable on a nondiscriminatory basis. To effectuate this interest
        may call for elimination of a variety of obstacles in making the
        transition to school systems operated in accordance with the
        constitutional principles” Brown v. Board of Education II, 349 U.S.
        294, 299-300 (1955)
       “[A] school desegregation case does not differ fundamentally from
        other cases involving the framing of equitable remedies to repair
        the denial of a constitutional right. The task is to correct, by a
        balancing of the individual and collective interests, the condition
        that offends the Constitution.” Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Bd.
        of Educ., 402 U.S. 1, 16 (1971)
Prior Caselaw (cont.)
   Appropriate for District Court to Prescribe, Oversee
    Desegregation Plan, no Clear Limit on this Power
        “Once a right and a violation have been shown, the scope of a district
         court's equitable powers to remedy past wrongs is broad, for breadth and
         flexibility are inherent in equitable remedies.” Swann v. Charlotte-
         Mecklenburg Bd. of Educ., 402 U.S. 1, 16 (U.S. 1971)
        “The remedy for such segregation may be administratively awkward,
         inconvenient, and even bizarre in some situations and may impose burdens
         on some...No fixed or even substantially fixed guidelines can be established
         as to how far a court can go, but it must be recognized that there are
         limits.” Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Bd. of Educ., 402 U.S. 1 (U.S.
        “The scope of permissible transportation of students as an implement of a
         remedial decree has never been defined by this Court and by the very
         nature of the problem it cannot be defined with precision.” Swann v.
         Charlotte-Mecklenburg Bd. of Educ., 402 U.S. 1 (U.S. 1971)
Prior Caselaw (cont.)
   Scope of Desegregation Plan may Include such Measures as Teacher
    Reassigmnet, Re-districting of Re-zoning, Transportation of Students, Remedial
        “[District Courts may] consider problems related to administration, arising from the
         physical condition of the school plant, the school transportation system, personnel,
         revision of school districts and attendance areas into compact units to achieve a
         system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis, and
         revision of local laws and regulations which may be necessary[.]” Brown v. Board of
         Education II, 349 U.S. 294, 300-301 (1955)
         “[Defendant School Board] argues that the Constitution prohibits district courts from
         using their equity power to order assignment of teachers to achieve a particular
         degree of faculty desegregation. We reject that contention. Swann v. Charlotte-
         Mecklenburg Bd. of Educ., 402 U.S. 1 (U.S. 1971)
         “[O]ne of the principal tools employed by school planners and by courts to break up
         the dual school system has been a frank -- and sometimes drastic -- gerrymandering
         of school districts and attendance zones. More often than not, these zones are neither
         compact nor contiguous; indeed they may be on opposite ends of the city. As an
         interim corrective measure, this cannot be said to be beyond the broad remedial
         powers of a court. Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Bd. of Educ., 402 U.S. 1 (U.S.
Prior Caselaw (cont.)
   No Requirement for Specific Racial Balance in each School, but
    Single-race School raises Presumption of Discrimination
        “Where the school authority's proposed plan for conversion from a
         dual to a unitary system contemplates the continued existence of
         some schools that are all or predominately of one race, they have
         the burden of showing that such school assignments are genuinely
         nondiscriminatory. The court should scrutinize such schools, and
         the burden upon the school authorities will be to satisfy the court
         that their racial composition is not the result of present or past
         discriminatory action on their part.” Swann v. Charlotte-
         Mecklenburg Bd. of Educ., 402 U.S. 1 (U.S. 1971)
        “The constitutional command to desegregate schools does not
         mean that every school in every community must always reflect the
         racial composition of the school system as a whole.” Swann v.
         Charlotte-Mecklenburg Bd. of Educ., 402 U.S. 1 (U.S. 1971)
Judicial Involvement
   Risk of High Profile Desegregation Case
       Judge in similar case in Richmond, VA house was
       Special master in Dayton, OH case shot
       In Detroit
            Rioting, block busting, and public scorn of judges
            Heightened security
                  Special entrance for judges and clerks
                  Federal Marshal protection for judges and families
            Colleagues believe stress of case killed Roth
Judicial Involvement (cont.)
   High Maintenance of Milliken Case
       DeMascio employed two clerks for two-year terms at any given time. One
        was assigned full time to Milliken throughout course of case
       DeMascio calls School Board and Teachers' Union into quarters for status
        hearing on contract negotiations out of concern that imminent strike could
        scuttle portions of proposed remedy, orders them to meet daily to resolve
       Liaison appointed to meet with heads of local colleges and universities to
        solicit their involvement in remedy for public schools
       Court staff met with business and community leaders to encourage their
        support of desegregation efforts
       Three desegregation experts appointed to serve as officers of the court
       DeMascio denies plaintiff's motion that he recuse self after remand from 6th
        Cir., citing both difficulty of transfer such a labor intensive case to a new
        judge, and lack of bias or inappropriate actions on his part.
Surpreme Court Composition
   Chief Justice Burger: Majority
        Joined by Stewart, Blackmun,
         Powell, and Renquist
   Stewart: Concurring Opinion
   Douglas: Dissent
   White: Dissent
        Joined by Douglas, Brennan,
   Marshall: Dissent
        Joined by Douglass, Brennan,
Constitutional Issue of Milliken
   Milliken and the 14th Amendment, § 1
       The 14th Amendment to the United States
        Constitution, § 1, reads in part: “No State
        shall make or enforce any law which shall
        abridge the privileges or immunities of
        citizens of the United States; nor shall any
        State deprive any person of life, liberty, or
        property, without due process of law; nor
        deny to any person within its jurisdiction
        the equal protection of the laws.”
Burger on Constitutional
   Majority found no violations of 14th amendment in outlying
   “[N]o state law is above the Constitution. School district lines
    and the present laws with respect to local control are not
    sacrosanct, and if they conflict with the Fourteenth Amendment,
    federal courts have a duty to prescribe appropriate remedies.”
   Although record contained evidence of de jure segregation, an
    intradistrict remedy would be “wholly impermissible [and] based
    on a standard not hinted at in Brown I and II or any holding of
    this Court.”
Stewart on Constitutional
   Upheld Sixth Circuit‟s finding of Equal Protection
    Clause violation.
   However, Stewart did not believe issue was of
    substantial constitutional law as much as appropriate
    exercise of federal equity jurisdiction.
   “the mere fact of different racial compositions in
    contiguous districts does not itself imply or constitute
    a violation of the Equal Protection Clause in the
    absence of a showing that such disparity was
    imposed, fostered, or encouraged by the state or its
    political subdivisions…”
Douglas on Constitutional
   Central issue is “whether the State‟s use
    of various devices that end up with
    black schools and white schools brought
    the Equal Protection Clause into effect”
   Can State “… wash its hands of its own
White on Constitutional Issues
   Invokes concern of a return to pre-Plessy
    acceptance of separate and inferior black
    schools and potential nullification of Brown
   Believes the majority opinion allows “the
    state of Michigan, the entity at which the
    Fourteenth Amendment is directed, [to]
    successfully insulate itself from its duty to
    provide effective desegregation remedies by
    vesting sufficient power over its public
    schools to the local school districts.”
Marshall on Constitutional
   “[H]owever imbedded old ways, however ingrained
    old prejudices, this Court has not been diverted from
    its appointed task of making a „living truth‟ of our
    constitutional idea of equal justice under law.” –
    quoting Cooper
   Actions by State agency are actions by the State.
   System deliberately constructed to maintain
   Admits desegregation poses challenge, but insists
    upholding equal protection is of prime importance.
Local Control: Burger
   “No single tradition in public education
    is more deeply rooted than local control
    over the operation of schools; local
    autonomy has long been thought
    essential both to the maintenance of
    community concern and support for
    public schools and to quality of the
    educational process.”
Local Control: Dissents
   Douglas notes that Michigan‟s education system is
    actually a unitary one
   White argued that the state‟s attempt to dismantle
    the April 7 Plan in 1971 proved the state maintained
   Marshall: “Michigan, unlike some other States,
    operates a single statewide system of education… the
    majority‟s emphasis on local government control and
    local autonomy of school districts in Michigan will
    come as a surprise to those with any familiarity with
    that State‟s system of education.”
Limitations on Milliken I
   Flaws of Metropolitan Remedy
       Sole purpose of interdistrict as opposed to single-district
        remedy was to achieve particular racial balance, however
        such balance not required
       Interdistrict remedy “could disrupt and alter the structure of
        public education”
       Oversight of interdistrict remedy would make District Court
        into “a de facto 'legislative authority'” and a “'school
        superintendent' for the entire area”
       Burden of remedy shall not be imposed on jurisdictions not
        shown to have contributed to constitutional violation
       Remedy should be limited to that necessary to restore
        victims to position they would have enjoyed absent
        demonstrated constitutional violation.
Milliken I Remedy Limitations
   Prospective Limitations on Remedies by
    District Courts
       To include multiple districts in a remedy,
        plaintiffs must show
            Constitutional violation by each of the districts
             to be included in remedy
            or discriminatory intent in drawing district
Milliken I Remedy Limitations
   Limits on the Limitations
       Only limits judicial remedies, not acts by
        legislature, school boards, or other
        government bodies
       Does not preclude interdistrict remedy, but
        puts higher burden on plaintiffs to show
        such remedy appropriate
Constitutional Issues in
Milliken II
   Court rejects claims that sharing cost of
    programs between local school boards
    and State does not violate Amendments
    X or XI
Single-District Remedy on
   Plaintiffs and Board of Education both Submit
       Plaintiffs' plan rejected by District Court
            relies almost solely on transportation, would require
             some 900 buses
            geared towards achieving most even distribution of
             white/black students
            transports children even from desegregated schools to
             achieve racial balance elsewhere, transports from
             majority black school to majority black to achieve
             marginal change in racial balance
            Most schools will remain more than 80% black
Single-District Remedy (cont.)
   Board‟s plan more comprehensive, forms basis for
    District Court remedy with alterations
       Transportation lesser component
       Some 300 buses would still be required
       three inner-city regions which are more than 90% black not
        included in transportation plan
   Additional components of Board plan include
       Teacher reassignment
       Training of teachers, counselors
       Redrawing school zones, redesigning “feeder” system for
        middle schools and high schools
Single-District Remedy (cont.)
   Detailed, Comprehensive Remedy from District Court Designed to Preserve
    Educational Integrity
        Transportation disfavored means of achieving desegregation, but included with
              re-zoning should be exhausted before resorting to busing, “region” lines should not hinder re-
              no students should be bused to/from already desegregated schools, students should not be
               bused from one majority black school to another
              when pairing schools for desegregation, distances should be minimized; already desegregated
               schools should not be paired
              grade structure should be uniform across district
              30-55% black considered integrated; no school should be more than 70% white, but majority
               black school OK where further desegregation impractical
              If school nearly integrated, “satellite zones” preferred over busing, where students must be
               bused to elementary school, those students should be able to go to neighborhood middle
               school. Transportation burden between adjacent regions should be equalized
              No middle school shall be more than 50% white, middle schools may be either zoned, open, or
Single-District Remedy (cont.)
   Remedial skills program instituted to boost achievement
   In-service training for teachers, administrators through Wayne State
   Vo-Tech High Schools assimilated into magnet program, will expand
    opportunities, open skilled trades to blacks, new sites for Vo-Tech HS
    will be chosen to achieve maximum integration
   Race-blind testing
   Establish clear student rights and responsibilities for prevention of
    violence, discrimination by staff or students
   Outreach to parents, focus on school-community relations
   Counseling and career guidance
   Integration of Co-Curricular activities
   Bilingual/Multiethnic studies programs
   Faculty reassignment
Single District Remedy (cont.)
   Does this remedy
    make the District
    Court any less of “a
    de facto „legislative
    authority‟” and a
    superintendent‟ for
    the entire area?”
School Desegregation
Caselaw: Post-Milliken
   Surpreme Court has not Considered a Metropolitan
    Desegregation case
       Plaintiffs in Milliken I given leave to amend complaint to
        show evidence of constitutional violation by suburban
        districts but never did so
            Any further actions against the districts conditioned on Plaintiffs
             (really NAACP) paying cost of initial appeal for those districts.
            NAACP chose to focus efforts elsewhere, never paid costs of
             amended complaint.
            Suburban districts did not press for payment, probably content
             to forgo money and escape further litigation.
       Subsequent cases involving interdistrict desegregation
        denied certiorari or affirmed without opinion
Subsequent Caselaw (cont.)
   Lower Courts have Approved Interdistrict Remedies which meet
    the Milliken I Burden of Showing Interdistrict Constitutional
       Newburg Area Council, Inc. v. Board of Education, 510 F.2d 1358
        (6th Cir. 1974) “A vital distinction between Milliken and the present
        cases is that in the former there was no evidence that the outlying
        school districts had committed acts of de jure segregation or that
        they were operation dual school systems. Exactly the opposite is
        true here”
            A crucial difference between the present cases and Milliken is that school district
             lines in Kentucky have been ignored in the past for the purpose of aiding and
             implementing continued segregation.”
            Also, interdistrict remedy simpler because region at issue smaller, less populous.
            “In Kentucky, the county is established as the basic educational unit of the state,
             … the state legislature has referred to the boundaries of school districts as
             “artificially drawn school district lines.” …[and T]he merger or consolidation in
             that state could be effectuated under the express provisions of a Kentucky
Subsequent Caselaw (cont.)
   Evans v. Buchanan, 393 F. Supp. 428 (D. Del. 1975) aff‟d per curiam 423 U.S.
    963 (1975) “The record in this case is replete with evidence that racial balance
    in housing is integrally related to racial balance in the public schools”
        Evidence of interdistrict violations in 1950s when “black schools in Wilmington under
         the de jure system were schools for black children from throughout New Castle
         County” and also “suburban white children crossed district lines to attend “white”
         school sin Wilmington”
        Post-Brown, white families left Wilmington for suburban New Castle County and the
         Wilmington City schools were left predominantly black
        “Governmental authorities condoned and encouraged discrimination in the private
         housing market and provided public housing almost exclusively within… Wilmington.
         The specific effect of these policies was to restrict the availability of… housing to
         blacks in suburban New Castle County… This conduct constitutes segregation action
         with inter-district effects under Milliken.”
        Enrollment policies in Wilmington led to disproportionate number of black students in
         schools in majority white neighborhoods, exacerbating “white flight.”
        Exclusion of City of Wilmington from legislative act permitting consolidation of districts
         by State School Board violated Equal Protection Clause
Detroit Recently: Oft-Cited Model
of Urban Decay
   2000 population is 951,270
    compared to 1,849,568 in 1950
   220 Detroit Public Schools with
    116,000 students
   In 2000, just under 83% of
    Detroit residents were African
   70% of Metro Detroit‟s African
    Americans live in Detroit
   34.5% of Detroiters under the
    age of 18 live below the poverty
   In contrast, Neighboring
    Oakland County is the 4th
    wealthiest county in the nation.

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