Historical Dictionary of School Segregation and Desegregation: The American Experience

By Jeffrey A. Raffel | Go to book overview

U

UNITARY SYSTEM. A school system judged by the federal courts to no longer be a dual system,* that is, operating one system for majority and one for minority children; thus the school district has corrected the problem of segregation* and is released from direct monitoring by the federal District Court* of the implementation of the school desegregation plan.* When districts lack unitary status and are under a court order, they must receive approval for all changes to the desegregation plan from the plaintiffs and the court. This could well include changes in attendance areas, the building of a new school or closing of an old school, or changing teacher or student transfer policies. The burden of proof* is on the defendant school district. Unitary school districts, however, have the same constitutional obligations as school districts that have never been under court order. As David Armor* concludes, "No school policy or action can be successfully challenged in court without proving segregative effects and discriminatory purpose on the part of the school board" ( 1995:214). Thus in unitary districts the burden of proof to show discrimination* shifts back to the plaintiffs, those charging unconstitutional school segregation.*

Armor points out three reasons why districts may prefer to remain under court order rather than be declared unitary. First, school districts under court order who would like to continue their school desegregation plan are protected by the court from political pressures to alter it. Second, court orders help protect staffing plans that spread minority staff throughout the school district. An increasingly significant third reason is to maintain the funding provided under the court order from state and/or federal sources, such as the Magnet Schools Assistance Program.*

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Historical Dictionary of School Segregation and Desegregation: The American Experience
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction xiii
  • Chronology xxiii
  • A 1
  • B 18
  • C 46
  • D 73
  • E 90
  • F 104
  • G 111
  • H 116
  • I 128
  • J 133
  • K 137
  • L 144
  • M 149
  • N 176
  • O 188
  • P 195
  • R 205
  • S 223
  • T 252
  • U 256
  • V 268
  • W 270
  • Y 285
  • Bibliographical Essay 287
  • General Bibliography 293
  • Geographical Bibliography 303
  • Index 317
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