EAGLETON-BIDEN AMENDMENT. Passed on December 9, 1977, by a 51- 42 vote to plug a loophole in the Byrd Amendment* to ensure the prohibition of the use of federal funds to require busing* to implement school desegregation plans* where grade structures were altered. The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare* ( HEW) had continued to require busing even after the Byrd Amendment was passed, so Congress passed the Eagleton-Biden Amendment to the Labor-HEW Appropriations Act of 1978. This amendment prohibited the federal government from using federal funds to require busing beyond the nearest school to implement desegregation plans based on pairing* or clustering* schools or building new school facilities. This amendment thus was aimed at restricting HEW's administrative authority by plugging the loophole that the Carter* administration had used to continue to press local districts for plans with busing. The Office for Civil Rights* may still refer cases to the Department of Justice* to bring to the federal courts to attempt to get a court order to require busing, if that is the remedy that is viewed as necessary. The effect of this amendment is to stop the federal executive branch from requiring busing, but the power of the federal courts was not affected.
References: Amaker, Civil Rights and the Reagan Administration ( 1988); Yudof et al., Kirp and Yudof Educational Policy and the Law ( 1987); Metcalf, From Little Rock to Boston ( 1983).
EDUCATION AMENDMENTS OF 1972. These amendments included a busing* moratorium restricting the federal courts that had no real impact on federal court orders. The amendment read as follows: "No provision of this act shall