On September 4th, 1957, Dorothy Counts becomes the first Black student to attend a predominantly white school in North Carolina, Harry Harding High School in Charlotte. Counts was met with intense resistance and violence from white students, parents, and administrators alike. Dorothy Counts discusses her first day of school: Public..Read More
After the initial Brown decision in 1954, the Court convened to rule on the implementation of the original ruling. The Court decided that the decision should be implemented with “all deliberate speed.”
In December 2019, WestEd released its report to the public. The report titled Sound Basic Education for All: An Action Plan for North Carolina, included 8 detailed recommendations of how North Carolina could comply with the Leandro orders.
Judge David Lee, the judge presiding over the Leandro case and the person responsible for making sure that North Carolina implements the decision in the case, ordered an independent report on the state of education in North Carolina. Lee commissioned WestEd, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research agency to study the issue..Read More
In November 2017, NC Governor Cooper issued Executive Order 27, which created the Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education. The mission of the Commission is to assess the state’s ability to staff schools with highly effective teachers and principals, and the state’s commitment to providing adequate resources for all..Read More
In September 2015, the North Carolina General Assembly passes HB 334, which permitted the creation of a weighted lottery system to be used by charter schools to promote socioeconomic diversity within the school. As of the 2018 school year, only 4 charter schools in the state have utilized this program.
In February 2011, Senate Bill 8 was passed, lifting the 100 charter school cap put in place by the previous 1996 Charter School Act. The cap was lifted in order to receive federal funding from the Race to the Top program. This led to a rapid increase in charter schools..Read More
Parents Involved in Community Schools (PICS) v. Seattle ruled that the use of student’s race in pupil assignment was unconstitutional. This would affect school districts across the nation that were using the racial identity of a student as a factor in school assignment as a measure of desegregation.
This second Leandro ruling affirmed the “Leandro Tenets” necessary to receiving a sound, basic education. It also ruled that the state was in violation of providing a sound, basic education, and that it was not possible to achieve this by transferring educational responsibility to localities.
Following the Capacchione case and the declaration of CMS as “unitary”, a group of Black families filed a motion to reactivate the Swann case, arguing that CMS had not officially reached unitary status, and that maintaining desegregated schools was crucial to the quality of their children’s education. However, the United..Read More
In 1997, William Capacchione, a white parent, filed a lawsuit against CMS on behalf of his daughter Christina stating that she was not admitted to a magnet school of her choice due to her race. In 1999, the judge ruled that CMS must stop using race as a category for..Read More
In 1998, the nonprofit group North Carolina Foundation for Individual Rights filed a lawsuit to attempt to block the state’s diversity requirement for charter schools. NC laws state that the racial makeup of charter schools must “reasonably reflect” the community they serve. As a result of this lawsuit, North Carolina..Read More
In 1997, the North Carolina Supreme Court declared that North Carolina was obligated to provide its students a “sound, basic education.”
The Charter Schools Act of 1996 is passed, authorizing the formation of up to 100 charter schools in the state of North Carolina. The act also limited districts by stating that no district could have more than 5 charter schools. This act signified the beginning of the school choice movement..Read More
In May 1994, five districts in low-wealth counties filed a lawsuit against the state, arguing that despite the fact that they were being taxed at higher-than-average rates, their school districts did not have enough funds to provide an equal education for their students. 25 years later, the Leandro case continues..Read More
In January 1991, Board ruled that once a school district became racially “unitary”, schools that were no longer identifiably “Black” or “white”, then they could be released from court-mandated desegregation practices such as busing.
In July 1971, the Supreme Court ruled in Miliken that schools were not responsible for busing students to other schools across district lines. This set a long precedent that schools could not desegregate across district lines–a larger issues for de facto segregated districts in the North that could have dozens..Read More
In April 1971, the Swann case challenged the Pearsall Plan and ruled that busing was a legitimate and useful tool for desegregation. School districts across the nation would cite this ruling for decades to come when implementing their own busing plans.
In July 1969, Godwin v. Johnson ruled that the state of North Carolina was in charge of desegregating schools–not the individual localities.
Richard Nixon is elected as president, campaigning on the “Southern Strategy”, focusing on rhetoric of “law and order” and increasing racial fears of white Republicans. Nixon would go on to appoint four Supreme Court justices that would make key decisions regarding desegregation.
In April 1968, President Johnson passes the Fair Housing Act, which prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, sex. This was a crucial step for school desegregation, as it is often a student’s neighborhood that determines where they will attend school.
In April 1968, Civil Rights leader MLK Jr is assassinated. As protests spark across the country, the Nixon campaign seizes on the idea of “law and order”, and public opinion shifts away from favoring increased civil rights for Black Americans.
In 1966, a report titled The Equality of Educational Opportunity (also known as the Coleman Report) is released. This report was commissioned by the Civil Rights Act to study educational opportunities and outcomes for students of color. The report found that there was a significant achievement gap between Black and..Read More
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is passed in April, 1965 as part of President Johnson’s War on Poverty. This Act gave the Civil Rights Act the ability to actually withhold federal funding for noncompliant districts.