Court Upholds Mass. School Desegregation

Denise Lavoie, AP, June 17

BOSTON—A federal appeals court Thursday upheld a suburban school district’s voluntary desegregation policy, which considers race when making school assignments.

The city of Lynn’s plan uses race as a factor to decide if children may transfer to schools outside their neighborhoods. Officials can turn down the request if they believe the assignment would further segregate either the student’s neighborhood school or the requested school.

Supporters argued the policy has succeeded in making Lynn’s classrooms racially mixed and helped prepare students to live in a diverse society.

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In its ruling Thursday, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found the city has a “compelling interest” in receiving the educational benefits of racial diversity, and its voluntary desegregation policy is narrowly tailored to meet that interest.

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