L.A. School-Desegregation Suit Ends Quietly After Eight Years
An eight-year-old lawsuit that sought to desegregate the Los Angeles Unified School District has come to a quiet end, with a federal judge agreeing to dismiss the case.
U.S. District Judge A. Wallace Tashima last week approved a stipulation filed jointly by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the state of California in which the parties agreed to end the case and "make peace with one another."
Various state officials and agencies were the only defendants remaining after Judge Tashima dimissed the school district from the lawsuit earlier this year.
The naacp agreed to drop the suit because it lacks the resources necessary to pursue the case, not because it believes the district has made sufficient pro4gress toward desegregation, lawyers for the group said.
"It really has to do with not having the manpower and the billions it would take to litigate this to the end," said Nyisha Shakur, an naacp lawyer.
Efforts to negotiate a settlement broke down last year after the state refused to fund educational programs agreed to by the naacp and district officials. The federal suit has never gone to trial, although an earlier suit in the state court system resulted in mandatory busing in the district in the late 1970's.
The district still faces a separate suit filed in 1986 by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund that charges the Los Angeles schools with failing to provide equal educational opportunities for minority students.--ws