The St. Louis region’s desegregation program, one of the longest-running and largest in the country, will begin winding down under a plan approved by a governing board.
The program that allows black students who live in the city to attend schools in the suburbs was granted a five-year extension by the Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corp., this month, but enrollment will be scaled back following the 2018-19 school year. No new students will be admitted after 2023-24. About 4,600 students currently participate, down from a peak of more than 14,000 16 years ago.
Since its inception as the result of a federal desegregation lawsuit in 1983, the program has allowed more than 70,000 black students to travel by bus and attend predominantly white schools in the suburbs. White students from the county may also attend magnet schools in the city. Court supervision of the St. Louis program ended in 1999.