Indiana law barred African-American children from its common schools until 1865. Philanthropists and civic organizations formed by black residents were the only source of funding for schools before the Civil War. The state legislature created a separate school system for black children in 1865, funded by assessments on property owned by black residents. There was one exception to the separate- school-rule. For example, the legislature mandated in districts where to few black people lived to fund a school for their children, the youths of both races would attend the same school. This exception was rare and applied to a small section of the state. Segregation in Indiana continued unabated until after Brown v. Board of Education ( 1954), which declared segregated schools inherently unequal.
An act to provide for a general system of common schools, the officers thereof, and their respective powers and duties, and matters properly connected therewith, and to establish township libraries, and for the regulation thereof. Approved March 5, 1855, Revised Statutes.
Section I. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana, That there shall be annually assessed and collected, as the state and county revenues are assessed and collected, on the list of property taxable for state purposes, the sum of ten cents on each one hundred dollars worth of property, and fifty cents on each poll: Provided, however, that the taxes aforesaid shall not be levied and collected from negroes nor mulattoes, nor shall their children