United States v. State of Tex., Civ. A. No. 5281.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District Texas
Writing for the CourtJUSTICE
Citation506 F. Supp. 405
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff, Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, Lulac and G. I. Forum, Plaintiffs-Intervenors, v. STATE OF TEXAS et al., Defendants.
Decision Date12 January 1981
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 5281.

506 F. Supp. 405

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff,
Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, Lulac and G. I. Forum, Plaintiffs-Intervenors,
v.
STATE OF TEXAS et al., Defendants.

Civ. A. No. 5281.

United States District Court, E. D. Texas, Tyler Division.

January 12, 1981.


506 F. Supp. 406
COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED
506 F. Supp. 407
COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED
506 F. Supp. 408
Joseph D. Rich, David Brinbaum, Richard Epps, Terry Milton, Jeremiah Glassman, Civ. Rights Div., Dept. of Justice, Washington, D. C., Drew S. Days, III, Asst. Atty. Gen., Washington, D. C., John H. Hannah, Jr., U. S. Atty., E. D. Texas, Tyler, Tex., for plaintiff

Peter D. Roos, Vilma S. Martinez, Linda Hanten, Ricardo De Anda, Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), San Francisco, Cal., Roger Rice, Harvard Center for Law and Education, Cambridge, Mass., Norma Solis, Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), San Antonio, Tex., for plaintiffs-intervenors.

Susan J. Dasher, Asst. Atty. Gen. of Texas, Mark White, Atty. Gen. of Texas, John W. Fainter, Ted L. Hartley, Paul R. Gavia, Roland Allen, David M. Kendall, Steve Bickerstaff, Robert Giddings, Asst. Attys. Gen., Austin, Tex., for defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

JUSTICE, Chief Judge.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY.

This civil action was instituted by the United States on March 6, 1970. The complaint charged that the defendant State of Texas and its agents, including the Texas Education Agency (hereinafter referred to as "TEA"), had created and maintained nine all-Black school districts throughout the state and had failed to provide equal educational opportunity without regard to race. The complaint further alleged that the State of Texas, through the TEA ÔÇö as the chief supervisory body of public education in Texas and as the disburser of state educational assistance and federal funds ÔÇö, had failed to oversee and supervise the school districts within the state, to ensure that no child was denied the benefits of federally-supported programs on the grounds of race, color, or national origin.

506 F. Supp. 409

A trial was held in September, 1970. In an order entered November 24, 1970, the defendants were found to be in violation of both the Constitution and federal law. Accordingly, TEA was required to desegregate the all-Black districts and to submit a comprehensive enforcement plan to ensure equal educational opportunity for all students in the state. D.C., 321 F.Supp. 1043 (1970). After the submission of a proposed plan and a series of hearings, an order was entered mandating that TEA implement a comprehensive enforcement plan, which was set forth in conjunction with the order. D.C., 330 F.Supp. 235 (1971).

With minor modifications, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit subsequently affirmed the November 24, 1970, order. 447 F.2d 441 (1971). A revised order was issued on July 13, 1971, to conform with the directives of the Court of Appeals. Justice Black thereafter denied a motion by the state defendants to stay implementation of this order, 404 U.S. 1206, 92 S.Ct. 8, 30 L.Ed.2d 10 (1971), and certiorari was subsequently denied by the Supreme Court. 404 U.S. 1016, 92 S.Ct. 675, 30 L.Ed.2d 663 (1972). Thus, the revised order of July 13, 1971, remains in effect in this action.

Section G of the order, entitled "Curriculum and Compensatory Education", required the TEA to carry out a study of the educational needs of minority children throughout the state and to report his findings to the court by August 15, 1971. The report was to include, inter alia,

(a) Recommendations of specific curricular offerings and programs which will insure equal educational opportunities for all students regardless of race, color or national origin. These curricular offerings and programs shall include specific educational programs designed to compensate minority group children for unequal educational opportunities and ethnic isolation, as well as programs and curriculum designed to meet the special educational needs of students whose primary language is other than English;
(b) Explanation of presently existing programs funded by the State of Texas or by the Federal Government which are available to local districts to meet these special educational needs and how such programs might be applied to these educational needs;
(c) Explanation of specific standards by which the defendants will determine when a local district, which has racially or ethnically isolated schools or which has students whose primary language is other than English, shall be required by the defendants to participate in the special compensatory educational programs available; and
(d) Explanation of procedures for applying these standards to local districts including appropriate sanctions to be employed by the defendants should a district refuse to participate in special compensatory educational programs where it has been instructed to do so pursuant to application of the standards developed under subsection (c) above.

TEA filed a timely response to the Section G requirements, in the form of an 86-page document entitled "T.E.A. Plan for Meeting Requirements of Section G" and a 17-page document entitled "Alternative Programs to Improve Curriculum for Minority Students". In submitting these reports, the agency did all that it had been required to do under Section G. No other specific actions were immediately mandated by the order directing TEA to address the learning problems of students whose primary language was other than English. TEA's proposals, as contained in these two documents, were never the subject of a hearing, nor was any order entered which approved or rejected them.

Another pertinent section of the order of July 13, 1971, Part J(1), provided:

This Court retains jurisdiction of this matter for all purposes, and especially for the purpose of entering any and all future orders which may become necessary to enforce or modify this decree.
506 F. Supp. 410

It is this provision which authorizes consideration to be given to the supplemental claims which have now been brought.1

A motion to intervene, filed by the GI Forum and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), was granted on July 10, 1972, which allowed such parties to participate in this action "for all purposes as representatives of all persons of Mexican-American descent or nationality in the State of Texas." On June 3, 1975, the GI Forum-LULAC intervenors moved for enforcement of Section G of the court's prior order and for supplemental relief, claiming that Mexican-American students in the Texas public schools were being denied equal educational opportunity as required by law. In their demand for relief, the intervenors called for TEA to implement a plan which would provide all limited English proficiency students with bilingual instruction and compensatory programs, to overcome the effects of the unavailability of bilingual instruction in the past. An amended motion, naming twenty-six individual Mexican-American children as party plaintiffs, was subsequently filed. The United States has also moved for enforcement of Section G and for supplemental relief which is similar, though not identical, to that demanded in the motion filed by the GI Forum-LULAC intervenors.

At the trial of the case, the parties submitted voluminous documentary materials and numerous stipulations of fact, which were received in evidence. Following trial, all parties submitted extensive post-trial memoranda. This memorandum opinion contains findings of fact and conclusions of law as to these claims, as authorized by F.R.CIV.P. 52(a).

As noted above, the response of the court in 1971 to the special educational needs of limited English proficiency children was simply to require the report described in Section G. The trial of the case had primarily focused upon the existence of a dual school system in Texas based upon race. While evidence was received on the maintenance of separate schools for children of Mexican-American ancestry throughout the state, no expert testimony was offered on the related problem of ethnic-based language barriers. Thus, while it was determined that equal educational opportunity should be afforded to Spanish-speaking students, no record existed on which to base specific findings as to the extent of the language problem in the state's public schools or how that problem could best be remedied.

The study and report by TEA called for in Section G were intended to begin the process of eliminating the vestiges of discrimination against these children in the field of education by dealing directly with the language barrier. But the suggestion by plaintiffs that the comprehensive bilingual education program they now seek was somehow inherent in Section G and must now be implemented under the doctrine of res judicata is erroneous. Section G of the court's 1971 order required only the filing of a report to propose remedial programs. That requirement was satisfied in a timely manner by TEA. Section G contained no specific guidelines concerning the scope or characteristics of any compensatory program. Given the paucity of evidence which had been received on the language problem at that time, such specificity would have been unwarranted. If the extensive relief now sought by plaintiffs is appropriate, it must be predicated upon the mass of evidence presented at trial. Accordingly, the

506 F. Supp. 411
plaintiffs' claim for relief as a means of enforcing Section G of the court's 1971 order will be denied

II. DE JURE DISCRIMINATION UNDER THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT.

A. Scope and Impact of the Violation.

The evidence presented on the motions for supplemental relief contains proof of pervasive, invidious discrimination against Mexican-Americans throughout the State of Texas. The extent of the discrimination is comparable in magnitude to the overwhelming evidence of state-supported racial segregation which was found more than ten years...

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11 practice notes
  • Castaneda v. Pickard, No. 79-2253
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit
    • 23 Junio 1981
    ...education or other forms of language remediation as part of a remedy for past discrimination. Cf. United States v. State of Texas, 506 F.Supp. 405 7 RISD's program was apparently adopted in compliance with Tex.Ed.Code Ann. § 21.451 (Vernon 1980 Supp.) which required local school districts t......
  • U.S. v. LULAC, No. 85-2579
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 2 Julio 1986
    ...United States v. State of Texas, 356 F.Supp. 469 (E.D.Tex.1972), aff'd, 495 F.2d 1250 (5th Cir.1974); United States v. State of Texas, 506 F.Supp. 405 (E.D.Tex.1981), and United States v. State of Texas, 523 F.Supp. 703 (E.D.Texas 1981), rev'd, 680 F.2d 356 (5th Cir.1982); United States v. ......
  • United States v. State of Tex., Civ. A. No. 5281.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District Texas
    • 27 Agosto 1985
    ...state court proceedings restraining Highland Park School District from carrying out federal court order); United States v. Texas, 506 F.Supp. 405 (E.D.Tex.1981), rev'd on other grounds, 680 F.2d 356 (5th Cir.1982) (ordering bilingual education from 1-12 grades)....
  • United States v. State of Tex., Civ. A. No. 5281.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District Texas
    • 30 Julio 1981
    ...pages in length. A memorandum opinion, based upon this comprehensive trial and post-trial record, was entered on January 9, 1981. 506 F.Supp. 405 (E.D.Tex.1981). The defendants were found to have violated the constitutional and statutory rights of Mexican-American school children throughout......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
11 cases
  • Castaneda v. Pickard, No. 79-2253
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit
    • 23 Junio 1981
    ...education or other forms of language remediation as part of a remedy for past discrimination. Cf. United States v. State of Texas, 506 F.Supp. 405 7 RISD's program was apparently adopted in compliance with Tex.Ed.Code Ann. § 21.451 (Vernon 1980 Supp.) which required local school districts t......
  • U.S. v. LULAC, No. 85-2579
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 2 Julio 1986
    ...United States v. State of Texas, 356 F.Supp. 469 (E.D.Tex.1972), aff'd, 495 F.2d 1250 (5th Cir.1974); United States v. State of Texas, 506 F.Supp. 405 (E.D.Tex.1981), and United States v. State of Texas, 523 F.Supp. 703 (E.D.Texas 1981), rev'd, 680 F.2d 356 (5th Cir.1982); United States v. ......
  • United States v. State of Tex., Civ. A. No. 5281.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District Texas
    • 27 Agosto 1985
    ...state court proceedings restraining Highland Park School District from carrying out federal court order); United States v. Texas, 506 F.Supp. 405 (E.D.Tex.1981), rev'd on other grounds, 680 F.2d 356 (5th Cir.1982) (ordering bilingual education from 1-12 grades)....
  • United States v. State of Tex., Civ. A. No. 5281.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Court of Eastern District Texas
    • 30 Julio 1981
    ...pages in length. A memorandum opinion, based upon this comprehensive trial and post-trial record, was entered on January 9, 1981. 506 F.Supp. 405 (E.D.Tex.1981). The defendants were found to have violated the constitutional and statutory rights of Mexican-American school children throughout......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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