Courts Lift Order for Schools to Desegregate

September 21, 2001

As the nation began to recover from the shock of the terrorist attacks of September 11, the U. S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools was sufficiently desegregated, effectively ending thirty years of forced busing. Soon after the decision, the school system would roll out a new neighborhood choice assignment plan.

For many parents, it was a dream come true. Their children were guaranteed a spot in a school close to home—neighborhood schools were back. To parents in some urban neighborhoods, their children could look forward to attending schools in which almost every child lived in a family that fell below the poverty level.

The days and months leading up to the court case were tense. A concurrent study on "social capital" ranked Charlotte very low in the area of "racial trust."

The school system continues to tweak the assignment plan in an effort to keep schools somewhat equitable.

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