808 F.2d 1445 (11th Cir. 1987), 86-7579, Brown v. Board of Educ. of City of Bessemer
|Citation:||808 F.2d 1445|
|Party Name:||Doris Elaine BROWN and Delores Eloise Brown by Sam Brown, their father and next friend; Frazier McKinley Glover, Plaintiffs-Appellees, United States of America, Plaintiff-Intervenor, Appellee, Tony S. Cooper, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, Plaintiff. v. THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF the CITY OF BESSEMER; J. Howard McEniry, Presiden|
|Case Date:||February 02, 1987|
|Court:||United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit|
Carl E. Johnson, Bishop, Colvin & Johnson, Frank Nelson Building, Birmingham, Ala., for defendants-appellants.
Joe L. Tucker, Jr., Holliman & Tucker, Bessemer, Ala., for plaintiffs-appellees.
William R. Yeomans, U.S. Dept. of Justice/Civil Rights Div., Appellate Section, Washington, D.C., for U.S.A.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.
Before RONEY, Chief Judge, EDMONDSON, Circuit Judge, TUTTLE, Senior Circuit Judge.
EDMONDSON, Circuit Judge:
The Board of Education of Jefferson County, Alabama appeals an order by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama granting extraordinary relief to the Board of Education of the City of Bessemer, Alabama. Because we find that the district court acted within its authority, we affirm.
The City of Bessemer, Alabama ("Bessemer") lies within the limits of Jefferson County, Alabama. For several decades, Bessemer has operated a school system separate from that operated by the county. Since 1971, each system has operated under a continuing order of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama to desegregate and to provide a unitary system of education to its own students. See, Brown v. Board of Education of the City of Bessemer, et al., No. CV-65-HM-0366-S (N.D.Ala. August 30, 1971), rev'd in part, 464 F.2d 382 (5th Cir.1972); Stout v. Jefferson County Board of Education, No. CV-65-P-0396-S (N.D.Ala. September 8, 1971). Neither system has yet been declared unitary. It is in connection with the district court's supervision of the Bessemer school system that this appeal arises.
On July 3, 1985, the Bessemer Board of Education filed a "Petition for Approval of Unitary Plan." The goal of the plan was to consolidate as many all-black schools as possible with racially desegregated schools. The district court "preliminarily approved" the plan on July 12, 1985.
The consolidation outlined by the Bessemer plan would require extensive construction at the desegregated schools to accommodate the students from the other schools. Because a key provision of the plan involved closing the all-black Abrams High School and transferring students from that school to the desegregated Lanier High School, Bessemer was eligible for a consolidation grant from the State of Alabama in the amount of approximately $800,000.00. Pursuant to the conditions of the grant, the Bessemer Board of Education committed itself to raise a matching amount, leaving 1.6 million dollars available to implement the unitary education plan.
In early 1986, annexation elections were held concerning Bessemer pursuant to a consent decree issued in another, otherwise unrelated lawsuit Tolbert, et al. v. City of Bessemer, et al., Nos. CV-83-P-3050-S, CV-84-P-0893-S. Plaintiffs in Tolbert charged that Bessemer had...
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