401 F.Supp. 216 (D.Mass. 1975), Civ. A. 72-911, Morgan v. Kerrigan

Docket Nº:Civ. A. 72-911
Citation:401 F.Supp. 216
Party Name:Morgan v. Kerrigan
Case Date:June 05, 1975
Court:United States District Courts, 1st Circuit, District of Massachusetts
 
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401 F.Supp. 216 (D.Mass. 1975)

Tallulah MORGAN et al., Plaintiffs,

v.

John J. KERRIGAN et al., Defendants.

Civ. A. No. 72-911-G.

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts.

June 5, 1975

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Robert Pressman, Eric E. Van Loon, Center for Law and Education, Cambridge, Mass., John Leubsdorf, Foley, Hoag, and Eliot, Boston, Mass., J. Harold Flannery, Washington, D.C., Rudolph F. Pierce, Boston, Mass., and Nathaniel R. Jones, New York City, for plaintiffs.

James Sullivan, Philip Tierney, Matthew Connolly, DiMento & Sullivan, Boston, Mass., for defendants School Committee.

Richard W. Coleman, Segal, Roitman & Coleman, Boston, Mass., for School Administration.

Sandra Lynch, State Board of Ed., Boston, Mass., for State Bd. of Ed.

Thayer Fremont-Smith, Choate, Hall & Stewart, Boston, Mass., for Boston Home and School Assn.

Timothy Wise, Asst. Atty. Gen., Boston, Mass., for Comm. of Massachusetts.

Kevin F. Moloney, City of Boston Law Dept., Boston, Mass., for City of Boston & Mayor White.

John F. McMahon, Angoff, Goldman, Manning, Pyle & Wanger, Boston, Mass., for Boston Teachers Union.

Jeanne Mirer, Kathleen Weremuik Segal, Mass. Chapter of National Lawyers Guild, Boston, Mass., Jack John Olivero, Richard J. Hiller, Herbert Teitelbaum, Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. New York City, for El Comite.

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION

AND

REMEDIAL ORDERS

Table of Contents

I Introduction ........................................ 222

II Prior Proceedings ................................... 224

III Findings and Conclusions ............................ 227

A. Plans submitted by the Parties ................... 228

B. General Principles Governing Remedy .............. 229

C. School Districts ................................. 235

D. Guidelines for Assigning Students ................ 240

E. Examination Schools .............................. 242

F. School Closings and Capacities ................... 245

G. Magnet Schools and Programs ...................... 246

H. Citizen Participation, Monitoring, Reporting ..... 248

IV Conclusion .......................................... 249

V Student Desegregation Plan (excerpts from) .......... 250

A. The Community School Districts ................... 250

B. The Citywide School District ..................... 256

C. Vocational Education (omitted) ................... ---

D. Guidelines for Assigning Students ................ 261

E. Transportation ................................... 263

F. Cost Considerations .............................. 264

G. Citizen Participation, Monitoring and Reporting .. 265

H. Timetable for Implementation ..................... 269

I. Further Remedial Orders (omitted) ................ ---

J. Retention of Jurisdiction (omitted) .............. ---

VI Appendices (omitted) ................................ ---

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GARRITY, District Judge.

Introduction 1

Boston has been a magnet for people searching for access to the larger American society ever since the founding of the nation. Boston's magnetism has, in recent decades, attracted thousands of black Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Oriental Americans into its midst. Like those who preceded them from Europe, these Americans are being pushed by the hardships of their present life and pulled by the promise of opportunities that Boston has always represented.

Many Bostonians today face a different situation from the one faced by settlers in earlier generations, however. Many of today's Bostonians, white, black, and other minorities, must bridge a cultural gap far wider than the one bridged by their predecessors.

Hard as the bridge to opportunity was to travel for most Bostonians from 1800 to 1946, the bridge did exist. Growing industries were in search of workers. The physical structure of Boston permitted the incoming ethnic groups, albeit after much struggle, to settle in enclaves within a city that was not yet overbuilt. Of equal importance, free public schools served as an open road across the gulf between the old cultures and the new. Public schools also provided,

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through their instruction, access to semi-skilled and skilled occupations.

Building upon a foundation laid in the colonial era, Boston became the bridge not only to liberty, but to the ideal of the free, universal, and inclusive public school. Horace Mann established in 1837 the nation's first statewide education commission. In that decade, he achieved world wide renown as the Father of the Common School. Under his stimulus, Boston erected the Quincy School, still in use today in Boston, as the nation's first multi-classroom public elementary school. Built in 1847, the Quincy School expressed in brick and mortar as well as program all that was ideal, urban, and progressive in the nineteenth century vision of the Common School.

Horace Mann's vision served the children and youth of Boston for more than a century. But, as the deterioration and segregation of the Quincy School make plain to the eye of any visitor, that vision began to dim after World War II. Public schools and school services became increasingly unequal in quality. Some became exclusive rather than inclusive of all groups.

Ethnic segregation, cultural isolation, overcrowding some schools and extreme underutilization, in others, incoherent grade structures, discriminatory assignments and school admissions procedures, all combined to guarantee unequal and inferior educational opportunities for the children of Boston. By the late 1960's conditions had become so deplorable that one responsible investigator reported,

Of any generation of seventh graders, 85 percent do not complete four years of college; 75 percent do not even begin college. In any ghetto area, more than half never finish high school. 2

As the public schools of Boston declined, they also became outmoded. Speaking of them, the Harrington Report concluded, 'Course offerings available to most public school students today are similar to those in the schools of their parents and grandparents.' 3 In the last few years, the Boston School Department has worked to introduce some innovations and improvements, but these have been handicapped by maneuvers to maintain segregation.

This demise over a period of three decades took place alongside the rising hunger of Bostonians for schools that could help them bridge the gap between ethnic isolation and access to the larger and ever more complex urban society. The children of second and third generation white ethnic families suffered as the schools located within their residential enclaves came to reinforce rather than reduce the educational distance between their neighborhood and access to the larger society. Black and other minority children, meanwhile, suffered even greater educational deprivations as the schools they attended were the most crowded, the oldest, the least well maintained, and the most poorly staffed that the school committee could offer.

In the court's quest for a remedy adequate to reviving the vision of an equitable and effective public school system, it has planned for schools that will be free, universal, inclusive, and sound in ways that meet the educational needs and aspirations of all of Boston's citizens. It believes that the reconstruction of the ideal of the Common School requires a common concern with equality and excellence throughout all institutions and groups in the entire Greater Boston area.

While it has obligated the Boston School Committee and its Department to eliminate segregation and the effects of discrimination in the public schools, it has also solicited the talent, support, and assistance of colleges, universities, and business and other organizations in developing

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learning opportunities that will remedy the losses students have already suffered and that will lay a basis for improving the quality of education for the total City.

II

Prior Proceedings

On June 21, 1974 the court issued an opinion holding that Boston's public schools had been unconstitutionally segregated by the purposeful actions of the school committee and superintendent. Morgan v. Hennigan, D.Mass. 1974, 379 F.Supp. 410. This finding was affirmed by the Court of Appeals in December of 1974. Morgan v. Kerrigan, 1 Cir. 1974, 509 F.2d 580. The finding was based on a history of school committee actions and inactions spanning a decade, involving overcrowding and underutilization of facilities, placement of portable classrooms, use of new facilities, districting, feeder patterns, open enrollment policies, and hiring and assignment of faculty and staff, which intentionally brought about and maintained a dual school system in Boston. In 1971-72 the system contained 59,300 whites (61%) and 30,600 blacks (32%), yet only five of 140 elementary schools had a racial composition that came within 10% of the citywide ratio. Eight-four percent of white students in Boston attended schools more than 80% white; 62% of black students attended schools more than 70% black. 379 F.Supp.at 424. Added to the background of this case were efforts by the school committee beginning in 1965 to evade the effects of the Racial Imbalance Act passed by the Massachusetts legislature. Mass. G.L. c. 71, Secs. 37C and 37D, and c. 15, Secs. 1I, 1J and 1K. Following an unsuccessful attack by the Boston School Committee on the constitutionality of the statute, a series of orders of the State Board of Education and judicial proceedings in state courts culminated in orders from the Supreme Judicial Court that the school committee implement in the 1974-75 school year a plan formulated by the State Board of Education (the 'state plan').

In the court's opinion of June 21, 1974 the defendants Boston School...

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