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66 years after Brown v. Board, Schools Across the South are Still Separate and Unequal

The unanimous Brown ruling declared in 1954 that racial segregation in public schools was a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. In the ruling, the court emphasized that education was “perhaps the most important function of state and local governments” and that school desegregation was necessary for the integration of our society as a whole.

In the years that followed, federal judges held hundreds of desegregation hearings; the National Guard was deployed to protect nine Black students integrating Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas; tens of thousands marched on Washington in support of integration; and Congress passed landmark civil rights legislation.

But the nation’s schools, in recent years, have resegregated.

More than half of the nation’s schoolchildren are in racially concentrated school districts, where over 75% of the students are either white or of color. Many districts in the South remain under federal desegregation orders today. As private school voucher programs have expanded, racial and economic segregation has widened gaps between low-income students and wealthier students, and between white students and students of color.

Read entire article at Southern Poverty Law Center