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Mass. Desegregation Law Survives Call for Repeal

A push to repeal a Massachusetts law that requires racial balance in the state's public schools appears to have been relegated to the back burner.

Convinced that the law was causing needless expense and upheaval in an age of growing ethnic diversity, Abigail Thernstrom, an outspoken member of the state school board, drew intense media attention in the state last month when she called for its repeal.

But at a board hearing this month, only one other member raised serious objections to the law. Ms. Thernstrom conceded that the issue was all but dead for the immediate future.

The law is believed to be the only one of its kind in the nation. It requires school districts to, among other measures, take steps to increase enrollment of white students at any school in which more than 50 percent of the students are nonwhite.

Repeal of the law would require action by the state legislature.

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