Story Archives: District appeals for unitary status
|District appeals for unitary status|
Across Louisiana, most public school districts are still under federal court supervision to ensure a racial mix in schools. The Franklin Parish School District remains under the order but is actively working to be released and awarded "unitary status" according to school officials.
In the mid- to late-1960s, school districts across the South were sued for discrimination and given desegregation orders, which put them under the scrutiny of the Justice Department. Today, school officials must comply with the federal order by reporting the racial breakdown in areas such as attendance, extracurricular activities and district lines to assure integration.
"We're operating under a court order issued 40 years ago," said Superintendent Lanny Johnson. "Everything has to be reported to the Justice Department which is an enormous burden on the system."
Johnson said Federal Judge Robert James of Ruston was leading the charge to petition the Justice Department for unitary status for all school districts in Northeast Louisiana. Judge James is a Federal Article III Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District.
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