CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
Transportation is one of the "Green factors" used to determine whether a school district is operating a dual system. Transportation, and its attendant burdens must be operated in a unitary and non-discriminatory fashion. Clearly, a school district may not intentionally allocate inferior services or equipment to minorities. See, Carr v. Montgomery Bd. of Educ., 289 F. Supp. 647, 655 (M.D. Ala. 1968), aff'd, 395 U.S. 225, 23 L. Ed. 2d 263, 89 S. Ct. 1670 (1969).
In school districts implementing desegregation programs, transportation policies that unduly burden minority students are unlawful. Lansing, 429 F. Supp. at 620. Desegregation must not be effectuated solely, or even primarily, by transporting minority students to majority schools. Diaz v. San Jose Unified School District, 861 F.2d 591, 596 (9th Cir. 1988); Parent Ass'n of Andrew Jackson High School v. Ambach, 598 F.2d 705, 717 (2nd Cir. 1979). Such one-way busing programs place the burden of desegregating a school system disproportionately on minorities and have the effect of maintaining a neighborhood school policy a reality for majority students, while making such a policy chimerical for minorities. As a result, courts must closely scrutinize charges that the burdens of desegregation have been distributed inequitably. Id.
Unequal burdens must not be borne by certain racial groups unless a compelling justification is present. Diaz, 861 F.2d at 596; United States v. Lawrence County School Dist., 799 F.2d 1031, 1049 (5th Cir. 1986); Higgins v. Bd. of Educ. of City of Grand Rapids, 508 F.2d 779 (6th Cir. 1974). Whether a group is burdened impermissibly turns on "the validity of the Board's justifications for its proposals and the availability of feasible alternatives" to the objectionable measures. Diaz, 861 F.2d at 596; Arvizu, 495 F.2d 499, 504; see also Keyes v. School Dist. No. 1, Denver, 521 F.2d 465, 479 (10th Cir. 1975). Courts have condemned one-way busing plans that ignore other opportunities to achieve integration and place the burdens of integration solely on minorities. Lansing, 429 F. Supp. at 620; Brice v. Landis, 314 F. Supp. 974, 978 (N.D. Cal. 1969). Even if the motivation for instituting such plans is not pernicious, the plans are nonetheless impermissible. Lansing, 429 F. Supp. at 621.
The RSD's longstanding practice of requiring the mandatory assignment of minority students to schools outside their neighborhoods for desegregation purposes, while imposing no similar burden on white students, was unfair, impermissible and unconstitutional. The RSD persisted with its practice of one-way busing despite widespread protests from the minority community. The transportation policies adopted by the RSD restricted and discouraged open enrollment and transfer to full-site focus centers.
Furthermore, the RSD discriminated against minority students by providing more generous transportation services to voluntary integration students, predominantly majority students, as opposed to involuntary integration students, predominantly minority students. Minority secondary students were required to bear the cost of RMTD transportation and to suffer the qualitative differences of transportation from the transportation provided to majority students. The RSD's invocation of transportation costs as a justification for its anti-busing stance was pretextual. The RSD's opposition to mandatory busing for desegregation purposes was, in reality, opposition to the forced busing of white students for desegregation purposes. The RSD also unlawfully developed an unpublicized system of preferential transportation services that benefited white students.
DISCRIMINATORY CONDITIONS IN THE COMPOSITION OF THE BOARD
The minority community and the Southwest Quadrant have been severely underrepresented in the makeup of the Rockford Board of Education. From 1965 to 1989 only two Board members resided in the Southwest Quadrant. From 1965 to 1989 only three Board members were African-American and none were Hispanic.
The RBE intentionally maintained an electoral system that it knew would minimize minority participation on the Board. Substantial evidence exists showing that the RBE, from 1965 through 1989, intentionally pursued a policy to keep the Southwest Quadrant underrepresented on the Board.
FINDINGS OF FACT
Board Members: 1965-1989
From the time of the first elected Board in 1965 until the filing of the present suit in April 1989, a disproportionate number of RBE members resided in the Northeast Quadrant. This geographic underrepresentation resulted in severe minority under-representation on the RBE and a concomitant dominance on the Board of opponents of busing for integration during the critical 1970's. Additionally, the underrepresentation of elected minorities was aggravated by the RBE's manipulation of appointments to preclude or minimize Southwest/minority representation on the RBE.
Prior to 1965, the RBE members were appointed by the Mayor of Rockford. Bd. Min., 10/28/63, B009228. On numerous occasions in 1963, the RBE discussed changing the method of Board member selection from appointment by the Mayor to election at-large. See, e.g., Bd. Min., 11/26/63, B009249; B009260; Bd. Min., 1/13/64, B010499. In January 1964, the RBE adopted a resolution to place on the ballot of April 14, 1964, a proposition to elect School Board members. Bd. Min., 1/13/64, B010499. In that election, the voters passed the referendum for the election of Board members at large. Bd. Min., 4/27/64, B010614. The first elected Board Members were then chosen in the April 1965 election. Bd. Min., 4/12/65, B011006.
Board members elected and appointed (to fill vacancies) from 1965 through 1989 were as follows:
1965: Carlson, Harris, Severin, Thompson, Hollingsworth, Zaugg and Shafer elected.
1966: President Clifford Carlson reelected; John Floden elected.