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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Public School Desegregation in the United States, 1968 - 1980


It is now more that fourteen years since the Supreme Court rejected gradual and voluntary transfers between black and white schools and called for root-and-branch desegregation. Almost a decade has passed since the first Supreme Court decision requiring citywide bussing outside the South. But the national debate over school desegregation continues to be intense. We are experiencing another national attack on court-ordered desegregation by national leaders, including the president and attorney general. The federal grant program supporting desegregation was repealed in 1981 and there are numerous proposals in Congress to limit the use of bussing for desegregation. At the same time, in courtrooms across the country, civil rights groups continue to wage protracted legal battles against segregation.

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