Document Type


Publication Date



Discrimination, desegregation, racial balance

Series Title

Office for Education Policy

Series Number

Volume 04 Issue 03


The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 28th that school districts may no longer use a student’s race as a deciding factor for school assignment, as a way of attempting to maintain or achieve integration. This decision came in response to a court case in which it was found that two school districts, Seattle and Jefferson County, KY, violated the 14 th Amendment, due to the fact that they were using race as a deciding factor to achieve diversity in individual schools. Schools in Jefferson County, which include the city of Louisville, were operating under a plan that was adopted in 2001, in which each school sought to have a black enrollment of at least 15% of their student population, but no more than 50%. This plan was challenged by a parent of a white student after he was denied transfer to another school because his current school needed to keep its white students to stay within the parameters of the district’s policy. Schools in the Seattle school district, while never under a court-ordered desegregation plan, in 2000 adopted an assignment plan that used race as a way to “foster educational and social benefits in the classroom.”