Four civil rights organizations are seeking to join a lawsuit to support a California school district’s use of race in drawing student-attendance zones.
Filed in June against the Capistrano Unified School District by a group of parents, the lawsuit contends that the district is violating Proposition 209—a California constitutional amendment approved by voters in 1996—by using race or ethnicity as a factor in setting up attendance boundaries for a high school expected to open in the fall of 2006. The 50,400-student district is located in San Juan Capistrano.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and a group of parents have petitioned to join the lawsuit on the side of the defendants. The lawsuit is pending in state superior court in Orange County.
The district must consider race as it establishes student-attendance zones, according to a news release issued by the groups, because of persistent residential, economic, and racial segregation.
A version of this article appeared in the October 12, 2005 edition of Education Week