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Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District

Law Dictionary
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Constitutional Law Keyed to Sullivan

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Citation. 551 U.S. 701.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.  

School plans that use race alone as a qualifying criterion for school assignments is unconstitutional.


Facts. The Seattle School district and Jefferson County district have applications that require a parent to state what the race of his or her child is. When determining where to place a child or where to transfer a child both school districts use race as the qualifying factor on where to send the child. Seattle allows students to choose a high school but when too many students choose a school they decide based on siblings in schools and the race of the child. Jefferson was originally ordered to desegregate its schools. In attempts to correct the problem Jefferson has a ratio that there should not be more than 50% black students at a particular school. A parent with a child from each district that was denied a transfer to another school based on the race of their child brought suit.


Issue.  

  whether a public school that had not operated a legally segregated school or has been found to be unitary may choose to classify students by race and rely upon that classification in making school assignments. 


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