Equity & Diversity

Timeline

February 18, 2004 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

July 1960—The school districts of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County merge.

January 1965—Ten black families, including lead plaintiffs Vera and Darius Swann, sue the Charlotte-Mecklenburg district to obligate it to desegregate its schools. The case is known as Swann v. Charlotte- Mecklenburg Board of Education.

April 1969—U.S. District Judge James B. McMillan orders the district to draw up a plan for the “effective desegregation” of the pupil population, which could include mandatory busing. The following fall, the district’s efforts to integrate schools by busing children is marked by turmoil and violence.

April 1971—The U.S. Supreme Court upholds Judge McMillan’s decision in the Swann case. The ruling allows school systems nationwide to use mandatory busing and other race-based efforts to desegregate public schools.

October 1984—Campaigning for a second term, President Ronald Reagan says in a speech in Charlotte: "[Busing] takes innocent children out of the neighborhood school and makes them pawns in a social experiment that nobody wants.”

March 1992—The school board approves Superintendent John Murphy’s plan to eliminate portions of the district’s mandatory-busing program and establish magnet schools.

September 1997—White parent William Capacchione sues the district, claiming its race- based admission policy is unconstitutional, after his daughter is denied entry to a magnet school because of her race.

March 1998—U.S. District Judge Robert D. Potter reactivates the Swann case. Later that year, six white parents join the challenge to the student-assignment policies; two black families join the Swann plaintiffs to try to maintain desegregation efforts.

September 1999—Judge Potter declares the system “unitary,” or free of all vestiges of segregation, and orders the district to end its race-based student-assignment plans. “Essentially, [the district] is ‘standing in the schoolhouse door’ and turning students away from its magnet programs based on race,” he writes in the ruling.

September 2001—A full panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, in Richmond, Va., affirms the lower-court ruling that the district has achieved unitary status.

April 2002—The Supreme Court declines without comment to review the case. The district’s race-neutral assignment plan begins when classes start in August.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
Innovative Funding Models: A Deep Dive into Public-Private Partnerships
Discover how innovative funding models drive educational projects forward. Join us for insights into effective PPP implementation.
Content provided by Follett Learning
Budget & Finance Webinar Staffing Schools After ESSER: What School and District Leaders Need to Know
Join our newsroom for insights on investing in critical student support positions as pandemic funds expire.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How can districts build sustainable tutoring models before the money runs out?
District leaders, low on funds, must decide: broad support for all or deep interventions for few? Let's discuss maximizing tutoring resources.
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Equity & Diversity States Have Restricted Teaching on Social Justice. Is Teacher Preparation Next?
A new Florida law will restrict what teacher-preparation programs can teach about racism and sexism.
5 min read
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis answers questions from the media, March 7, 2023, at the state Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis answers questions from the media, March 7, 2023, at the state Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla. DeSantis signed legislation earlier this month that would restrict teacher training and educator preparation institutes from teaching on social justice.
Phil Sears/AP
Equity & Diversity Opinion 70 Years After 'Brown,' Schools Are Still Separate and Unequal
The legal strategy to prioritize school integration has had some unforeseen consequences in the decades since.
4 min read
A hand holds a scale weighing integration against resource allocation in observation of the 70th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education case.
Noelle Rx for Education Week
Equity & Diversity How a DEI Rebrand Is Playing Out in K-12 Schools
School districts continue to advance DEI initiatives, though the focus is more on general inclusion and belonging for all.
9 min read
Ahenewa El-Amin speaks with students during her AP African American Studies class at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Ky., on March 19, 2024.
Ahenewa El-Amin speaks with students during her AP African American Studies class at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Ky., on March 19, 2024. State leaders in Kentucky are pushing the message of making sure all students feel they belong in school including by offering ethnic studies courses.
Jaclyn Borowski/Education Week
Equity & Diversity Opinion 70 Years of Abandonment: The Failed Promise of 'Brown v. Board'
If the nation is going to refuse integration, Black people must demand we revisit the separate but equal doctrine, writes Bettina L. Love.
4 min read
A Black student is isolated from their classmates by an aisle in the classroom.
Xia Gordon for Education Week