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August 19, 1975 - Image 6

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1975-08-19

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Page ix


Tuesday, August 19, 1975

Legal battles foreseen over bus ruling

(Continued from Page 3)
"The Constitution does not
require an inflexible approach
to desegregation," DeMascio
s a i d. "Desegregation requires
only that black students be rep-
resented in significant propor-
tions throughout the school dis-
trict by the elimination of
identifiablywhite schools. There
is no longer a denial of the right
to equal protection when there
are no schools from which
blacks are excluded."
AT THE SAME time, how-
ever, he directed the board to
begin a wide-ranging moderni-
zation and construction program
aimed at upgrading academic
and vocational faciilties at all
city schools.

"The decree mu s t consider
the overriding community con-
cern for the quality of educa-
tional services available in the
school district," he explained.
"An effective and flexible
remedy must c o n t a i n safe-
guards that will enhance rather
than destroy the quality of the
educational services provided to
the city."
He c a l le d for sweeping
changes in almost every branch
of the system's structure, in-
* substantial expansion of
Detroit's experimental "middle
school" teaching format-a con-
cept which replaces the tradi-
tional junior high school unit;
* construction of new techni-
cal high schools to provide spe-

cialized training for students in-
terested in scientific or business
. a comprehensive reading
improvement effort at all grade
l e v e i s, accompanied by in-
creased support of in-service
training for teachers and ad-
ministrators, counseling a n d
career guidance activities, and
extracurricular programs; and
* shutdown of as many old,
outdated school buildings as
SCHOOL BOARD and city of-
ficials seemed pleased by De-
Mascio's apparent stress on im-
proving the present educational
program rather than ordering
highly extensive integration ef-
forts that might have interfered
with classroom activities. Board
president Carnelius Golightly
termed the DeMascio decision
"a victory for the schoolchildren
of Detroit."
Mayor Coleman Young agreed.
"This is the first time in the
history of the consideration of a
desegregation case by any court
that we have met the question
of quality education head on,"
he commented. "I hope that this
order has taken a step toward
providing quality- education for
all children."
But Lawrence Washington,

president of the Detroit NAACP
chapter, bitterly disagreed with
DeMascio's limited emphasis on
further desegregation. "It does
not appear as if the court has
addressed itself to the question,"
he said. "We're right back
where we started. This is a non-
WASHINGTON asserted t h a t
the court had "abdicated its re-
sponsibility" to the Detroit
school board by not specifying a
detailed integration scheme. Co-
hen claimed, however, that the
"constitutional responsibility for
developing a desegregation plan
lies with the local board of edu-
DeMASCIO asked the board to
"forthwith" submit -a timetable
detailing how and when e a c b
element of the court order would
be implemented. But if - as
appears likely - the NAACP
chooses to appeal, the provis-
ion's of Saturday's decision
would probably beheld in abey-
ance until a final judicial ver-
dict was reached. That pracess
could easily consume another
two to three years.
And even if the board was in-
structed to begin carrying out
DeMascio's complex develop-
ment program, the legislature-
which would have to appropriat-

substantial fiscal bonuses to De-
troit to permit the district to
pay for any major improve-
ments - could simply refuse to
approve all requests for further
funding, forcing another judi-
cial showdown.
In addition, any faculty reas-
signments necessitated by t h e
court-ordered procedures would
have to be negotiated with the
Detroit Federation of Teachers,
the city's teachers' unio. But
a breakdown in bargaining for
a new agreement has already
motivated the Federation to con-
sider setting a strike for Sep-
tember that could delay the
opening of school - and thus
any initial implementation of
the DeMascio ruling.
Clearly, however, the dispute
over integration in the Detroit
school system is still far from
definitely settled. One source
close to the case suggested that
the sixth circuit court of ap-
peals -the next stop for the
suit if the NAACP indeed de-
cides to pursue it - might well
be expected to overrule DeMas-
cio and ask for a comprehensive
bussing plan, since the sixth ap-
peals court has an unusually lib-
eral reputation.
But a Supreme Court decis-
iqn could go either way.


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