U.S. Supreme Court

Integration Plan B Uses Income

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More school districts are likely to consider income as a race neutral way to achieve school diversity in the wake of yesterday’s Supreme Court decision striking down two school integration plans.

The 5-4 decision struck down programs used in Seattle and Louisville, Ky., area schools that used race as a factor in school admission decisions, according to ABAJournal.com.

Schools in Wake County, N.C.; La Crosse, Wis.; and Cambridge, Mass., are among those that already take income into account, the New York Times reports. Louisville may now adopt the same approach, a school board member told the newspaper.

“We didn’t have a, quote, Plan B, ready in case we lost,” said Stephen Imhoff. “But I began bringing up socioeconomic diversity with the board five years ago, and I think it will be one of the viable options we will discuss.”

The Times says there are no reliable statistics on how many school districts use race in admissions, but some estimates put the number as high as 1,000. Los Angeles is among the school districts that use race in admissions decisions, David G. Savage writes in the Los Angeles Times.

Experts predict the decision will lead to more litigation and frustration for school districts trying to figure out how to comply with the decision while maintaining diversity.

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