United States v. Yonkers Bd. of Educ.

Decision Date20 November 1985
Docket NumberNo. 80 Civ. 6761 (LBS).,80 Civ. 6761 (LBS).
Citation624 F. Supp. 1276
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff, and Yonkers Branch-National Association For the Advancement of Colored People, et al., Plaintiffs-Intervenors, v. YONKERS BOARD OF EDUCATION; City of Yonkers; and Yonkers Community Development Agency, Defendants.
CourtU.S. District Court — Southern District of New York

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U.S. Dept. of Justice, Civ. Div., Joshua P. Bogin, Kenneth Barnes, Michael L. Barrett, Sarah Vanderwicken, Washington, D.C., for plaintiff U.S.

Michael H. Sussman, Brooklyn, N.Y., for plaintiffs-intervenors N.A.A.C.P.

Vedder, Price, Kaufman, Kammholz & Day, Michael W. Sculnick, Gerald S. Hartman, Nicholas J. D'Ambrosio, Jr., New York City, for defendants City of Yonkers and Yonkers Community Development Agency.

Butzel, Long, Gust, Klein & Van Zile, John B. Weaver, John H. Dudley, Mark T. Nelson, Detroit, Mich., Hall, Dickler, Lawler, Kent & Howley, Paul Whitby, New York City, for defendant Yonkers Bd. of Educ.

U.S. Dept. of Justice, Civ. Div., Raymond M. Larizza, Calvin E. Davis, Kirk Victor, John W. Herold, Office of Litigation, U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Renewal, Washington, D.C., for third-party defendant Dept. of Housing & Urban Development.

OPINION

SAND, District Judge.

                                         TABLE OF CONTENTS
                INTRODUCTION
                HOUSING
                I.   BACKGROUND .................................................................... 1289
                II.  STATEMENT OF CLAIMS AND LEGAL STANDARDS ....................................... 1291
                III. THE CITY'S EARLY ACTIVITIES UNDER THE NATIONAL HOUSING
                     ACT OF 1949 ................................................................... 1294
                     A. The Procedure for the Selection and Approval of Sites for Public Housing ... 1294
                     B. Site Selection for the City's 1949 Allocation of Public Housing Units ...... 1295
                     C. Site Selection for Senior Citizen Housing .................................. 1300
                     D. The City's Campaign to Produce Sites for Relocation Housing ................ 1302
                     E. The Nature and Effect of the Recurring Pattern of Public Opposition ........ 1306
                IV.  THE RIVERVIEW PERIOD .......................................................... 1313
                     A. Overview of Projects Approved .............................................. 1313
                     B. The Continuing Opposition to Subsidized Housing in the City's Heavily
                        White Neighborhoods ........................................................ 1314
                     C. The Pattern of Opposition and Apparent Acquiescence ........................ 1316
                        1. The City's Campaign to Produce Privately Sponsored Projects ............. 1316
                        2. The Candeub & Fleissig Survey and the City's 1970 Memorandum
                           of Understanding with the UDC ........................................... 1317
                        3. The Glenwood/Ridge Avenue Project and Rockledge Heights ................. 1320
                        4. Seven Pines ............................................................. 1322
                        5. Parkledge ............................................................... 1323
                     D. The City's Explanations for its Confinement of Subsidized Housing to
                        the Southwest .............................................................. 1327
                        1. Reliance on HUD's Express Directions .................................... 1328
                        2. The Absence of Private Developer Proposals In the East .................. 1330
                        3. Support for the Projects Among the Minority Community ................... 1331
                        4. The Unsuitability of East Side Sites .................................... 1333
                        5. The Pursuit of a Legitimate Planning Strategy to Use Subsidized
                           Housing to Rebuild the Southwest ........................................ 1337
                V.   THE CITY'S ACTIVITIES UNDER THE HOUSING AND COMMUNITY
                     DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 1974 ....................................................... 1342
                     A. Subsidized Housing Under the Housing and Community Development
                        Act of 1974 ................................................................ 1342
                     B. The Section 8 Existing Program ............................................. 1342
                     C. Section 8 New Construction Housing for Senior Citizens ..................... 1348
                        1. The City's Actions ...................................................... 1348
                        2. The Effect of the City's Actions ........................................ 1351
                     D. Subsidized Housing for Families Under the HAPs for Years I through
                        IV ......................................................................... 1352
                     E. The Palmer Road Site ....................................................... 1353
                     F. Actions Subsequent to the 1980 Contract Conditions ......................... 1356
                        1. Salisbury Gardens ....................................................... 1356
                        2. The Neustadter Site ..................................................... 1358
                        3. School 4 ................................................................ 1358
                VI.  THE EFFECT OF THE CITY'S ACTIONS ON THE RACIAL CONFIGURATION
                     OF YONKERS .................................................................... 1358
                VII. CONCLUSIONS OF LAW ............................................................ 1369
                
                SCHOOLS
                I.   THE CLAIMS OF UNLAWFUL SCHOOL SEGREGATION ..................................... 1376
                II.  LEGAL STANDARDS ............................................................... 1378
                III. THE YONKERS PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM .............................................. 1382
                IV.  THE BOARD OF EDUCATION ........................................................ 1388
                     A. School Openings, Closings, and Attendance Zone Changes ..................... 1388
                        1. Introduction ............................................................ 1388
                        2. School Openings ......................................................... 1395
                           a. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School ............................ 1395
                           b. School 10 ............................................................ 1403
                           c. Commerce Middle School ............................................... 1410
                        3. School Closings ......................................................... 1410
                           a. School 1 ............................................................. 1410
                           b. 1976 School Closings ................................................. 1413
                           c. Longfellow Middle School ............................................. 1422
                        4. Attendance Zone Changes ................................................. 1428
                           a. Schools 16 and 25 .................................................... 1428
                     B. Equal Educational Opportunity .............................................. 1430
                        1. Physical Characteristics ................................................ 1431
                        2. Staff ................................................................... 1433
                        3. Students ................................................................ 1437
                        4. Educational Programs and Resources ...................................... 1439
                        5. Integration and Educational Opportunity ................................. 1443
                     C. Vocational Education: Steering and Screening of Minority Students .......... 1444
                     D. Special Education .......................................................... 1453
                     E. Teacher and Administrative Staff Assignments ............................... 1462
                     F. Refusal to Implement Desegregative Reorganization Plans .................... 1467
                        1. Introduction ............................................................ 1467
                        2. NYU Report .............................................................. 1469
                        3. Phase II ................................................................ 1483
                V.   THE CITY ...................................................................... 1500
                     A. Interrelationship Between Housing Practices and School Segregation ......... 1500
                     B. Budgetary Control .......................................................... 1503
                     C. Mayoral Appointment of School Board Members ................................ 1506
                     D. School Site Selection ...................................................... 1513
                        1. Yonkers High School ..................................................... 1513
                        2. Saunders Trades and Technical High School ............................... 1514
                     E. Other City Involvement in School Affairs ................................... 1516
                        1. Attendance Zone Changes ................................................. 1516
                        2. City Council Resolutions ................................................ 1517
                        3. School 4 ................................................................ 1518
                VI.  CONCLUSIONS OF LAW ............................................................ 1521
                     A. Jurisdiction ............................................................... 1521
                        1. The Board of Education .................................................. 1522
                        2. The City ................................................................ 1522
                     B. Liability .................................................................. 1526
                        1. The Board of Education .................................................. 1526
                           a. Independent Conduct of School Authorities ............................ 1526
                           b. Denial of Equal Educational Opportunity .............................. 1530
                           c. Subsidized Housing Discrimination .................................... 1531
                        2. The City
...

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