ERIC Number: ED463369
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Sep-27
Reference Count: N/A
Constitutional Requirements for Race-Conscious Policies in K-12 Education.
Harvard Civil Rights Project, Cambridge, MA.
Voluntary efforts to promote racial integration in K-12 schools have met strong resistance from the courts in recent years, despite the long history of court involvement in desegregation litigation. Race-conscious policies have invoked both the integration ideals stemming from Brown v. Board of Education and the diversity rationale in higher education stemming from Justice Powell's "Bakke" case. The policymaking and recent case law in this area are unsettled, because two bodies of equal protection law can apply to race-conscious policies in K-12 education. One body of law applies to court-ordered desegregation remedies, and one applies to voluntary programs and policies (remedial or non-remedial). This paper discusses general legal principles and case developments. After summarizing desegregation principles (desegregation and the integration ideal and erosion and resegregation), it examines voluntary policies and strict scrutiny (compelling interests and narrow tailoring). The paper concludes by describing general gaps in the law and evidentiary requirements, explaining that because the courts have decided so few cases and almost all of those cases have resulted in courts' striking down the voluntary race-conscious programs, it remains unclear what evidence is sufficient for a court to uphold a program. (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Harvard Civil Rights Project, Cambridge, MA.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Brown v Board of Education; United States Constitution