June 1999 marked the 25th anniversary of federal judge W. Arthur Garrity’s 1974 order to integrate Boston’s schools through forced busing.

He became known as the most hated man in Boston.
25 years later what has been the result? This special Adversity.Net section was inspired by the Boston Globe’s series of excellent retrospectives on this historic, and some would say tragic, event.

See Also: Judge Garrity is dead, but are his divisive busing rulings dead?

General News and Boston Maryland North Carolina Wisconsin Enstrom Foundation
25 Years of Forced Busing

End busing, seek quality education (08/12/99 – dead link)
“Charlotte became ground zero for a noble but failed social experiment forced upon the country by the Supreme Court.

“In 1971, Charlotte became ground zero for a noble but failed social experiment forced upon the country by the U.S. Supreme Court. In its historic Swann vs. Charlotte-Mecklenburg school decision, the court permitted racially segregated school districts to begin busing in order to achieve integration.

“What began as an effort to remedy the grave wrongs of state-sanctioned racial segregation has turned American society — black and white — on its head. The neighborhood school concept, with the pride and solidarity it engenders in a community, has been badly damaged for the last three decades.

“Most observers of the recently concluded trial over busing and admissions to magnet schools believe Charlotte-Mecklenburg stands on the verge of a ruling that will declare its school system “unitary” and free it from court ordered desegregation plans.

“While some are predicting dire consequences if Federal District Judge Robert Potter abolishes busing, the evidence throughout the country suggests that busing has not accomplished its goals and, in fact, has had many negative consequences.

“Years after a Kansas City court implemented busing, black students in integrated magnet schools performed no better than blacks in neighborhood schools. San Francisco spent more than $200 million [on busing] following a 1982 court order to end school segregation, but a 1992 study led by Harvard Professor Gary Orfield, who supports busing, found black and Hispanic students lacked “even modest overall improvement” [as a result of intrusive court-ordered busing.] A National Institute of Education report could not even find a single study showing black kids fared appreciably better following a switch to integrated schools.

“…In fact, it is patronizing to think that minority students need to sit next to a white student in order to learn. Many black leaders, from Wisconsin State Rep. Annette Polly Williams, a Milwaukee Democrat, to Cleveland Mayor Michael White have come to that conclusion and led efforts to end busing.

“…Busing teaches our children a terrible lesson. Rather than eliminating racial discrimination, busing promotes it by teaching children that the government should treat them differently on the basis of their race.” (Charlotte Observer 08/12/99 by Marc Levin and Ed Blum)
[former link **http://www.charlotte.com/observer/opinion/view/pub/049962.htm]

Boston Board Votes To End Era Of Race-Based Assignment (08/04/99)
“In a move widely seen as the end of an era, Boston school officials have decided that this coming school year will be the last in which they use race as a factor in determining where students go to school.

“Facing pressure from a lawsuit by white parents and advocates of neighborhood schools, the city’s school board voted 5-2 last month to adopt a race-blind admissions policy starting in September 2000.

“The city has been using a “controlled choice” system of assigning students for the past decade, since shortly after a federal judge ended his supervision of a desegregation plan that had led to violent clashes over busing in the mid-1970s. “It was pretty clear that using race in student assignment was not going to withstand court scrutiny,” Elizabeth Reilinger, the chairwoman of the school board, said last week. “We didn’t think we had a viable case.”

“Board members and Superintendent Thomas W. Payzant concluded that it was better to switch than fight in part because of the generally dim view federal judges have taken of race-based policies in recent years. And last fall, the district’s long-running legal battle to defend race-conscious admissions at the prestigious Boston Latin School ended in failure when a federal appeals court struck down the policy.” (Education Week, 08/04/99 edition, by Caroline Hendrie)
[link http://www.edweek.org/ew/vol-18/43boston.h18 ]

(Also See Related: Boston Latin School, Adversity.Net special)

Closing a chapter on school desegregation (07/16/99)
“Boston’s decision to end efforts to racially balance its schools – 25 years after a federal court ruled they were illegally segregated – is the latest sign that educational equity is being redefined in the United States.

“From colleges in Texas and California to school districts in North Carolina and Kentucky, racial criteria in school admissions are being disallowed by or challenged in the courts – including in a case earlier this year involving a public exam-school in Boston. The court cases, coupled with a growing public sentiment that remedies such as busing and affirmative action are no longer needed in America, are leading some cities to deemphasize race in favor of other options, such as charter schools, voucher plans, and a return to emphasizing neighborhood schools.” (Christain Science Monitor 07/16/99 by Stacy Teicher)
[link http://www.csmonitor.com/durable/1999/07/16/fp1s3-csm.shtml ]

Busing’s Day Ends: Boston Drops Race in Pupil Placement (07/15/99 – dead link)
BOSTON — “In the most powerful symbol yet that the era of race-based busing is ending in America, the Boston School Committee voted on Wednesday night to drop race as a factor in deciding which school a child attends. The vote will effectively end in 2000 the last vestiges of the city’s busing integration program, 25 years after its violent inception tarred Boston with a reputation for northern racism and school busing strife.

“The committee’s vote of 5 to 2 completed a neat historical circle: In 1974, it was a Federal judge who found that Boston’s de facto school segregation discriminated against black children and ordered the busing. Wednesday night, the committee voted under pressure from a pending Federal lawsuit that argues that the current system discriminates against white children.

“City authorities who encouraged the vote to return to neighborhood schools said they acted out of awareness that here and nationwide, affirmative action programs and other school admissions systems that take race into account have lost again and again in recent court challenges.” (New York Times 07/15/99 by Carey Goldberg)
[former link **http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/071599boston-busing-edu.html]
(See Related: Boston Latin School, Adversity.Net special)

Busing Still Divisive 25 Years Later; Parents Sue for Race-Neutral Policies (06/22/99 – dead link)
“Twenty-five years to the day [that] a federal judge ordered Boston to desegregate its public schools – leading to one of the most tumultuous and ugly chapters in the city’s history – a group of parents yesterday asked a federal court to abandon the last remnants of the plan.

“Saying four white students were unconstitutionally denied entrance to schools because of their race, the lawsuit asks the US District Court to throw out a decade-old policy that assigns students to schools based on choice and race. The plaintiffs want a race-neutral admissions policy in place by September.

“Around the country, similar suits are asking federal courts to throw out any public student assignment policy that uses race. The courts have largely been sympathetic to such cases – and in some cases have ordered entire desegregation orders lifted in school districts. ‘It is unfair for my son to be denied anything because of his race,’ said Rose O’Toole, one of the five plaintiffs and a mother of a 4-year-old who she says was denied entrance to his choice of kindergarten because he was white. Boston’s Children First, a pro-neighborhood school group, spearheaded the lawsuit and also is a plaintiff.

“[This] lawsuit is filed after a three-year losing effort by Boston public schools to defend race-based admission policies at the system’s top exam school [the infamous Boston Latin School]. School officials argued that the educational value to a diverse student body is so great, a race-based policy is needed to ensure it.

“A federal appeals court, however, ruled in December that the city could not use race in assigning students to Boston Latin School. Soon after, the School Committee abandoned a pledge to take the case to the US Supreme Court, fearing it would lose the precedent-setting case and jeopardize desegregation efforts around the country.” (Boston Globe, 06/22/99 by Beth Daley)
[former link **http://www.globe.com/dailyglobe2/173/metro/Suit_targets_city_on_school_admissions+.shtml]

Related / Simlar Story:
Boston parents sue over race-based school assignment (again, and again!) (06/22/99 – deadlink)
BOSTON (AP) — “A group of parents asked the federal court to throw out what’s left of the city’s public school desegregation plan, despite warnings that such a move could reverse the city’s [racial quotas in schools] over the past 25 years.

“The lawsuit, filed Monday, claims four white students were unconstitutionally denied entrance to their schools of choice because of their race. It asks the court to throw out a School Department policy that considers race when assigning students to schools.

“The lawsuit was filed 25 years to the day after U.S. District Judge W. Arthur Garrity Jr. ruled that segregation in Boston schools violated the equal protection of the city’s black children under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. “If this prevails, we’re going to guarantee a segregated system,” City Councilor Charles Yancey, who represents the predominantly minority neighborhoods of Mattapan and Dorchester, said Monday.

In a particularly regressive, undemocratic statement, Yancey added: “It seems patently obvious the thrust of the suit is to have schools based on the demographic makeup of the neighborhoods”. Hmmm. Now THERE’S a concept! Schools composed of the people who live in the neighborhood in which the school is located! Egads!

Attempting to justify continued busing of children away from their own neighborhood schooks, Yancy was also quoted as saying: “Children should not be restricted geographically to where they go to school.” You know what, Mr. Yancey? It is really, really doubtful that the kids and their parents consider it “restrictive” to be able to attend a school in their own neighborhood.

“The plaintiffs say parents and students will feel more involved if the youngsters are allowed to attend schools closer to home, instead of being bused across the city to achieve racial balance.” (Associated Press 06/22/99 via FoxNews)
[former link **http://www.foxnews.com/js_index.sml?content=/news/wires2/0622/n_ap_0622_124.sml]

Garrity’s folly – 25 years after busing began, by Jeff Jacoby, 01-04-99 (dead link)
” ‘We came up with certain solutions, and – damn, it was working quite well, really.’ – Federal Judge Arthur Garrity Jr., author of Boston’s racial busing plan, in a recent interview.

“He would win, hands down, any contest for the Most Hated Bostonian of the last 30 years. And deservedly so. For Judge Garrity did more than inflict on Boston’s schools and families a nightmare of riots, fear, racial hatred, and civic trauma. He did it with such blithe indifference to the pain of those he was hurting, such cool disdain for anyone who doubted the wisdom of accomplishing integration through massive crosstown busing, that to this day he still insists, ”Damn, it was working quite well, really.’

“This June will mark the 25th anniversary of Garrity’s order to forcibly achieve racial balance in Boston’s public schools, an order that convulsed the city and triggered the most violent and notorious antibusing backlash in the nation. Images from the riots of 1974 still sear. Stanley Forman won the Pulitzer Prize with his unforgettable photograph of a black man being rammed with an American flag outside Boston City Hall.

” ‘The plan that Garrity imposed upon the city was punitive in the extreme,’ write Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom in ”America in Black and White,” their essential 1997 book on race relations. ‘Indeed, the judge’s advisers and the state Board of Education believed that those against whom it was directed – in their eyes, localist, uneducated, and bigoted – deserved to be punished. The plan thus paired Roxbury High, in the heart of the ghetto, with South Boston High, in the toughest, most insular, working-class section of the city. Blacks bused in from Roxbury would make up half of the sophomore class at South Boston High, while the whole junior class from `Southie’ would be shipped off to Roxbury High.’ ” (Boston Globe 01-04-99, page A15)
[former link *http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2

Boston Mayor’s Plan to End Busing Causes Minority Concern by Elizabeth Mehren 02/18/99 (dead link)
“Almost in passing, Mayor Thomas M. Menino recently announced in his state of the city address that he plans to return Boston to a system of neighborhood schools [a former ‘key word’ among busing advocates]. ‘The key thing is to give parents the choice where to send their child to school, [Mayor Menino] declared. ‘Parents should make that decision. Not the politicians.’

“Many wondered: If the schools are inadequate, how worthwhile is it to spend $30 million a year to bus students from one part of town to another? On the other hand, why walk your child to a low-quality neighborhood school? In a district where only 20% of students are white, what does desegregation mean, anyway? Has busing become a symbolic anachronism? And if neighborhood schools are instituted, does that mean the end of busing?

“Around the country, neighborhood schools are the vogue among educators and civic leaders who hope nearby classrooms will encourage parental involvement and turn school buildings into mini-community centers. But neighborhood schooling also was the fashion in the bad old days before busing, said Washington ‘civil rights’ lawyer William L. Taylor.” (LA Times, 02/18/99, by Elizabeth Mehren)
[former link *http://www.latimes.com/excite/990218/t000015174.html]

School busing: an era in decline by Laurent Belsie 02/02/99
“After 30 years of court orders, some cities seek to trade goal of integration for one of better schools. Three decades after federal courts began ordering cities to mix their classrooms racially [primarily thru forced busing], the pendulum has begun to swing the other direction. A growing number of cities are dismantling their busing programs. Today, St. Louis votes on a sales-tax increase that, if approved, would bring it closer to ending 27 years of court jurisdiction over its schools.

“But what next? Answers are murky.

“Although backers and critics of desegregation disagree on almost everything, they share common ground on this: The racial mixing of schoolchildren has so far failed to alleviate America’s long-standing challenges with race relations, urban poverty, and minority underachievement. Integration has been overwhelmed by stronger forces, such as family circumstances and the changing racial composition of inner cities. (Christain Science Monitor, 02/02/99, by Laurent Belsie)
[link http://www.csmonitor.com/durable/1999/02/02/p1s1.htm ]

Busing’s legacy: racial isolation by Jeff Jacoby 01-07-99 (dead link)
“On the Tuesday before Christmas, Billy Niedzwiecki was jumped by three schoolmates in a bathroom at South Boston High School. They stomped on him, broke his glasses, ripped a gold chain from his neck, and stabbed him five times. So severe was the attack that Billy had to undergo surgery twice at Boston Medical Center.

“Police were quick to deny that race played a role in the stabbing – even though Billy, a South Boston native, is white and his attackers, who come from other neighborhoods, are black. Maybe the police are right, but no one would be surprised to learn otherwise. South Boston High has simmered with violence and racial uneasiness ever since 1974, when Judge W. Arthur Garrity ordered the School Department to forcibly intermingle black kids from Roxbury and white kids from South Boston. Busing put public schools like Southie High under a sort of martial law, with hundreds of state troopers patrolling the corridors, snipers posted on the roof, and metal detectors at the doors.

“In the quarter-century since busing began, South Boston High School has erupted several times in racial brawls. In 1993, hundreds of students, black and white, hurled rocks, punches, and racist slurs at one another. Five people ended up in the hospital, including two police officers and the mayor. To this day, police still patrol the grounds of South Boston High. There are still metal detectors at the entrance. Judge Garrity’s legacy endures.” (Boston Globe, 01-07-99, page A13)
[former link *http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/007/editorials/Busing_s_legacy__racial_isolation+.shtml]

Records from busing give glimpse into history, by Alison Fitzgerald 12-07-98 (dead link)
“W. Arthur Garrity was once the most hated man in Boston. The federal judge who in 1974 ordered Boston to integrate the city’s schools through busing ignited a war between the races and the neighborhoods that changed the face and reputation of the city forever.

” ‘If you pass your laws, we will before long have a black Boston not an integrated one,’ wrote one Boston resident. The letter was just one of thousands written to Garrity that now fill eight file boxes.

“Today, Garrity is scheduled to donate those files and 52 other boxes jammed with documents related to the marathon desegregation case, to the University of Massachusetts at Boston. The papers offer a glimpse into the complexity of the legal issues and the raw emotion of the students and parents affected by the ruling.

” ‘You just sold the people down the river for your own convenience … You think your decision won’t reach the suburbs or your own children, you’re wrong.’ said one letter, written four days after Garrity ordered the schools integrated on June 21, 1974. Its postscript read, ‘I hope you die a very miserable death, preferably by cancer.’

” ‘White flight’ became a stark reality in Boston, where the percentage of white students dropped from 49 percent to 19 percent in 20 years as families fled to the suburbs. The 1980 census showed that 12 percent of the city’s population – about 80,000 people – had left since 1970. One third of the families with children under 18 were gone.” (Associated Press, via Boston Globe, 12-07-98)
[former link *http://www.boston.com/dailynews/wirehtml/341/Records_from_busing_case_give_glimp.shtml ]

School Busing Fading as Key Issue, by Beth Daley, 01/19/99 (dead link)
“The day after Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced a neighborhood school plan last week that would effectively end student busing in Boston, not one person came to a School Committee meeting to object.

“A court case that could mean the dismantling of the entire student assignment system, which uses race as one of the factors in assigning students to city schools, was met with only tepid protests by a handful of minority leaders last month.

“When a series of public hearings was held last year on possible changes in the student assignment policy, fewer than 10 parents attended each session.

“Busing is rapidly unraveling in Boston, but recent developments have failed to spark the angry debates, the stormy protests, or unbridled passions that accompanied the historic 1974 court ruling ordering Boston’s schools to be integrated.” (Boston Globe, 01/19/99, by Beth Daley)
[former link *http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/019/metro/School_busing_fading_as_key_issue+.shtml]

Voluntary Busing Running Out of Gas, by Brian Weber, 01/21/99 (dead link)
“The end of busing [has] allowed Denver kids to attend their neighborhood school or choose another one that had enough room. Most teachers and parents were relieved when the court gave up control of the district. They wanted to create good schools near home, not far away,” Bennie Milliner, a board member, said.

“For the past three years minority students in northwest and northeast Denver could ride a bus to predominantly white schools in southern parts of the city. However, the number of riders has dropped from 402 in 1996 to 196 this year at a cost per student of $1,600 — three times the district average for busing. ‘I don’t know how we can justify that,’ Milliner said.” (InsideDenver.Com, 01/21/99)
[former link **http://insidedenver.com/news/0121vol3.shtml]

Busing in Boston Could Give Way to “Walk-To Schools”, by Robin Estrin, 01/23/99
“Twenty-five years after racial violence erupted in Boston over court-ordered desegregation, the city is considering abandoning widespread busing and sending students to their neighborhood schools again. The reason: White flight and a burgeoning immigrant population have dramatically changed the racial makeup in many parts of Boston.

“Blacks, Hispanics and Asians now constitute about 85 percent of the city’s 64,000 public school students, up from about 48 percent when busing began. As a result, most areas of the city – including the once lily-white South Boston, where the worst trouble took place in the early 1970s – are now racially and ethnically diverse.

“The change has prompted Mayor Thomas M. Menino to propose building five new schools in the city and returning to ‘walk-to schools.’ ” (Associated Press, via Cleveland Live, 01/23/99, by Robin Estrin)
[link http://www.cleveland.com:80/news/pdnews/metro/w23busi.ssf ]

As Boston changes, it may end busing (01/23/99)
“Twenty-five years after racial violence erupted in Boston over court-ordered desegregation, the city is considering abandoning widespread busing and sending students to their neighborhood schools again.

“The reason: White flight and a burgeoning immigrant population have dramatically changed the racial makeup in many parts of Boston.

“Blacks, Hispanics and Asians now constitute about 85 percent of the city’s 64,000 public school students, up from about 48 percent when busing began.

“As a result, most areas of the city — including the once lily-white South Boston, where the worst trouble took place in the early 1970s — are now racially and ethnically ‘diverse.’ ” (Spokane.Net, 01/23/99, from wire services)
[link http://www.spokane.net:80/news-story-body.asp?Date=012399&ID=s519419&cat= ]

Maryland (Prince Georges County):

Judge Orders End to Forced Busing (09/02/98 – dead link)
“A federal judge has ordered an end to mandatory busing at Prince George’s County Schools in Maryland, concluding a 26-year effort to achieve racial balance. Transportation Director Ken Savoid praised the decision, saying court-ordered desegregation in the Washington, D.C., suburb no longer makes sense. ‘It’s costly and serves no purpose,’ he said.

” ‘When busing started in 1973, what you basically saw was busloads of white and black kids passing each other,’ Savoid said. ‘Now you see only black kids passing each other. They’re going from one predominantly black neighborhood to a school in another predominantly black neighborhood.’

“The agreement approved by U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte phases out mandatory busing over the next six years and calls for the construction of 13 neighborhood schools and the refurbishing of existing ones. Beginning next year, students will begin returning to neighborhood schools, though they will have the option of staying in their current schools.” (School Bus News, 09/02/98)
[former link **http://www.schoolbusfleet.com/News/nws090298.htm]

Prince George’s County to Pay $500,000 to the NAACP (03/09/99) (dead link)
Nice work if you can get it. In honor of ending court ordered school busing in this Maryland suburb of Washington, DC, Prince George’s County has agreed to pay $500,000 in legal fees which the NAACP incurred in fighting against the county. Black, democratic County Executive Wayne Curry had been prepared to spend up to $2 million to resolve the case. Said council member Walter H. Maloney “There was no justification for it” and that payment to the NAACP sends a message that the county is a “cash cow” for other litigants, according to the Washington Post.

In addition, the county spent $638,000 on its own law firm as well as $99,557 to two expert witnesses. (Washington Post, 03/09/99, page B04, by Jackie Spinner)
[former link *http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1999-03/09/089l-030999-idx.html ]

North Carolina (Charlotte):

Schools Panic Over End of Racial Quotas and Busing (11/08/99 – dead link)
[This Washington Post story portrays the end of forced school busing in this community as if it were a negative thing. Rather than celebrating the long overdue arrival of non-racial criteria in determining where grade schoolers can attend class, this Post story gives the impression that the release from a court-ordered, race-based busing program is somehow bad for the students of the Charlotte-Mecklenberg school system. Editor]

Washington Post headline: Charlotte Schools Are Scrambling — Story: “A recent federal court ruling has thrown the old way of doing things here into disarray, challenging school officials and the community to come up with some smart, fast solutions. In September, U.S. District Judge Robert Potter ruled that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg system, which is 40 percent black, had achieved desegregation “quite some time ago” and had eliminated “the vestiges of past discrimination.”

“In effect, Potter freed the schools from nearly 30 years of court supervision brought by the famed 1969 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education that led to the busing of thousands of local schoolchildren from their neighborhoods. He also decreed that any measure based on race, including the city’s pioneering busing program, could no longer be a factor in school assignments.

“A divided school board and a group of black leaders have appealed Potter’s ruling, but without a stay from the judge, new school assignments for as many as 60,000 of the system’s 100,000 students will have to be devised fast–for the next fall term.

“The lawsuit propelling this monumental shift was filed in 1997, when a white parent sued the school board after his daughter was denied entry into an elementary-school magnet program because she was classified as “nonblack.” After the family moved from the area, six other white parents continued the suit, reasoning that if school officials would not ask the court to release the system, they would. (Washington Post 11/08/99, page A03, by Sue Anne Pressley)
[former link **http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1999-11/08/077l-110899-idx.html]

Busing debate comes full circle (04/18/99 – 04/26/99)
Subhead: Charlotte system faces a federal trial. “Almost 30 years ago, the Supreme Court turned Charlotte, N.C., into ground zero in the debate over school busing. By affirming an effort to fix the city’s history of racial segregation in its public schools, the high court’s decision set off a series of racially charged battles in other school systems as they followed Charlotte’s lead.

“Now, at a trial starting on April 19 in Charlotte, a federal judge will begin hearing arguments from three sides about whether three decades of integration through busing, quotas and magnet schools have created a desegregated, or unitary, school system, or whether the 99,000-student system still has a ways to go.

“It is not the first such challenge, either in Charlotte or elsewhere. But the trial, expected to last at least a month, is fraught with symbolism that is not lost on the lawyers involved. “It will be over for those school systems still clinging to busing as a means of desegregation,” predicted Atlanta attorney A. Lee Parks, lead lawyer for a group of white parents challenging integration policies that kept their children out of certain magnet schools.

White plaintiffs: “The suit began in 1997 when Charlotte resident William Capacchione filed a civil rights suit alleging that his Daughter, Cristina, had been denied admission to a magnet school because she is white. In response, Charlotte lawyer James E. Ferguson II, who represents the black students who were the original plaintiffs in the 1971 case, Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, 402 U.S. 1, sought reactivation of the landmark case. Capacchione, he argued, was a direct attack on its precedent.

“It was in Swann that a unanimous Supreme Court affirmed a U.S. district court’s power to fashion a remedy that would create a “unitary school system” in Charlotte as a way of combatting de facto school segregation. Six other parents joined Capacchione in April 1998. They allege that the Charlotte system achieved unitary status 10 years ago but that the school board has avoided ending busing, magnet schools and other race-based programs. The parents seek an injunction, damages and a race-neutral system.” (National Law Journal 04/19/99 – 04/26/99 by David E. Rovella)
[link http://www.ljx.com/cgi-bin/f_cat?prod/ljextra/data/texts/1999_0418_08.html ]

Race-Based School Plan is Challenged (04/19/99)
“CHARLOTTE, N.C.–A lawsuit filed for a white first-grader threatens school desegregation policies in Charlotte, N.C., where a landmark ruling 30 years ago cleared the way for busing to integrate public schools nationwide. The federal trial, set to open here today, is the latest attack on racial quotas and busing plans drawn up since the late 1960s by local school boards to end segregation.

“Ultimately, it comes down to whether race can be used to decide which schools students can attend,” Charlotte schools spokesman John Deem said. In 1969, Charlotte was at ground zero in the explosive desegregation debate after a federal judge ruled in a landmark case–Swann vs. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education–that schools could bus students far from home to eliminate segregated neighborhood schools.” (LA Times 04/19/99 from Reuters)
[link http://www.latimes.com/HOME/NEWS/NATION/t000035115.1.html ]

Wisconsin (Milwaukee):

Black and White Milwaukee Area Residents Oppose Busing (10/17/99)
“Matching a nationwide cultural and constitutional trend, Milwaukee-area residents strongly oppose the practice of busing children from one neighborhood to another for the purpose of integration, according to results of an extensive Journal Sentinel poll on education issues.

“Of the 800 adults polled this month in the metropolitan Milwaukee area, 73% said they did not support busing for integration – a resounding condemnation of two decades’ worth of social policy in the city.

“Opposition to busing was slightly less strong among respondents who live in the city (66%) but still represented a solid majority. By race, 78% of white respondents opposed busing; 56% of blacks opposed the policy.

“The poll was conducted for the newspaper by the Public Policy Forum and Lein/Speigelhoff Inc. of Brookfield between Sept. 24 and Oct. 11.

“It also asked participants about a provision in the new state budget intended to end most busing in Milwaukee and divert the money to pay for bonds to build and enhance neighborhood schools in the city.

“About 70% of the respondents supported the Neighborhood Schools Plan, with similar support coming from city residents. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 10/17/99 by Joe …