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Mass. Board To Consider Repeal of Desegregation Law

A move is afoot in Massachusetts to repeal a 22-year-old state law that requires desegregation plans in school districts in which more than half the students at any school belong to racial minorities.

At a meeting of the state board of education this month, members are expected to discuss whether to ask the legislature to do away with the law, which governs desegregation plans in 19 communities.

Because the desegregation plans adopted under the law often require busing children far from their homes, some parents have condemned it as disruptive.

Civil-rights advocates have defended the law as a useful tool to achieve racial balance. Other supporters, including Commissioner of Education Robert Antonucci, say the law has helped ward off legal fights over integration.

But a spokesman for Mr. Antonucci said last week that the commissioner agrees it is time to take a fresh look at the desegregation law's usefulness, particularly the question of whether it enhances educational quality.

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