Yesterday marked an important victory for advocates of school diversity and equal opportunity. A California Court of Appeals ruled that Berkeley Unified School District’s policy of taking neighborhood demographics into account when making school assignments is not discriminatory as alleged by challengers.
The Court concluded that the District’s plan “does not show partiality, prejudice or preference to any student on the basis of that student’s race,” and that “the particular policy challenged here…is not discriminatory.” Therefore, the plan does not violate Proposition 209, California’s anti-affirmative action initiative passed in 1996.
In arriving at its decision, the court invoked the continuing legacy of Brown v. Board of Education, and affirmed the ability of school districts to develop and implement affirmative policies that foster social diversity and inclusion in their schools.
EJS lauds the Court’s decision, and we offer our congratulations and gratitude to the allies whose skillful and tireless advocacy contributed to this momentous victory – in particular, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, and the ACLU of Northern & Southern California. This collaboration is an important testament to the value and continued pursuit of racial diversity and educational equality in our schools.
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