[EDITOR'S NOTE: PART 2 OF 3. THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN SPLIT INTO MULTIPLE PARTS TO ACCOMMODATE ITS LARGE SIZE. EACH PART CONTAINS THE SAME LEXIS CITE.]
In the 1980-81 school year, Peterson School was 88% white. The Peterson School attendance area was divided into four areas and its students were sent to Beyer, Hallstrom, Nashold and Rock River Schools. B46628. Beyer School, with a 41% African-American student population, received thirty-one additional African-American students in 1981-82 and Rock River School, with a 41% African-American student population, received eleven additional African-American students. In contrast, Nashold School, with 5% African-American student population, received only two additional African-American students and Hallstrom School, with only a 5% African-American student population, received no new African-American students.
One week after receiving the staff's building study that indicated certain actions could result in de jure segregation, the RBE approved school closings and reassignments that, according to the report, could result in de jure segregation. In an open meeting approximately one month later, parents spoke to the RBE about the proposed school closings. Darlene Hanna, a Roosevelt School parent who later became an RBE member, discussed the disadvantages of closing Roosevelt Middle School and noted that Roosevelt was a naturally integrated school. Bd. Min., 1/26/81, B16951. The Roosevelt School boundaries ran from the Rock River on the east to Central on the west, Jefferson Street on the south and West Riverside on the North. Roosevelt's enrollment was integrated every year from 1970 through 1981. In its own Building Analysis, the RBE recognized and pointed out the value of natural integration in its discussion in relation to Lincoln Middle School. The elementary schools that naturally fed into Roosevelt were: Church (47.12% African-American), Garrison (25.23% African-American), Walker (19.35% African-American), Haskell (49.39% African-American), Welsh (19% African-American), Summerdale (28% African-American), West View (15.03% African-American) and Conklin (15.20% African-American). These feeder schools were mainly integrated schools.
In the 1980-81 school year, Roosevelt Middle School had an integrated student population of 27.53% African-American. The Roosevelt attendance area residents also had a diverse socioeconomic make-up. The Fairgrounds Park Housing Project (low-income) and the National Avenue District (high-income) were both contained within its boundaries. Roosevelt School was located in an area with dense population, had the largest number of students in its feeder schools, had one of the lowest costs to run per year of any RSD secondary school, was the only school in the area projected to increase enrollment over the next five years, was located within walking distance of community resources and was a school where students could stay after school for extracurricular activities. Id. Despite all these advantages, on February 18, 1981, the RBE approved the closing of Roosevelt Middle School. Bd. Min., 2/18/81, B16967, B16971.
The RBE also closed Washington Middle School, located in the Southwest Quadrant. Id. Washington Middle School was a racially-identifiable African-American school and, in the 1980-81 school year, had a 47.5% African-American student population. By closing Roosevelt and Washington Middle Schools, the RBE closed the only naturally integrated middle school and the most heavily populated minority middle school. The closing of these two schools left the Southwest Quadrant without any middle or secondary school south of State Street and west of the Rock River.
Integration Efforts of the RBE in 1981
According to one RBE Member, the level of the RSD's commitment to integrative programs declined after the withdrawal of the ISBE. Unless outside pressure was present, the RBE undertook no steps in an effort to desegregate Rockford schools. In 1981, Rockford was released from the pressure of the ISBE and the United States District Court.
On February 18, 1981, the following policies were approved by the RBE:
1. Operating costs in the alternative education programs were cut.
2. All alternative program bus riders were charged for the actual cost of transportation to such programs except those families who qualified under the RSD's free lunch program.
Bd. Min., 2/18/81, B16967; Walhout Test., Tr. at 420-421. In the 1981-82 school year, eight Southwest Quadrant elementary schools were racially-identifiable African-American. Those schools and their African-American student enrollment were:
In late 1982, eleven more schools were under consideration by the RSD for possible closure. These schools were Westview, Haight, Dennis, Evergreen or King, Guilford Center, Fairview, Garrison, Whitehead and Stiles, Cherry Valley and New Milford. B47879. Further closings were ruled out in the Northwest area where Whig Hill and Henrietta Schools were closed and in the inner Southeast area where Turner, Peterson and Wight Schools were closed. A savings of close to $ 2 million was projected to result from these closings. See B506492.
Evergreen School was closed in 1983 and its students were reassigned to Lathrop and New Milford. Lathrop's African-American percentage went from 47% to 38% and New Milford remained all white. The Evergreen students east of the Rock River were sent to New Milford, also east of the Rock River. Guilford Center was also closed in 1983 and its students were reassigned to Brookview. Brookview School's African-American percentage decreased from 22% to 16%. Fairview School was closed in 1983 and its students were reassigned to Johnson School, lowering Johnson's minority percentage from 13% to 6%. Fairview students were also reassigned to Rolling Green School, decreasing its minority percentage from 18% to 16%.
Garrison School's old building was closed in 1983, but its new addition remained open. Garrison's fourth through sixth grade students were reassigned to Walker and Haskell Schools. As a result, Walker's African-American student population decreased from 13% to 7% and Haskell's African-American student population increased from 57% to 63%. Garrison changed from a 27% African-American student population to an 18% African-American enrollment.
Skyview School, which was all white, was closed in 1983 and its students were reassigned to New Milford School, also all white, and to Froberg School. Froberg was 3% African-American in the 1982-83 school year. As a result of the reassignment, Froberg School became 1% African-American in the 1983-84 school year.
The RSD report also proposed closing Cherry Valley School, that was 99% white, and reassigning its students to Hillman School, that was 25% African-American. Cherry Valley, however, was not closed. Further, the RSD proposed closing Stiles School and reassigning its students to Dennis School. B47879. Stiles was previously 99% white; however, since 1973, Stiles had a 12-32% African-American student population due to the busing of African-American students from Dennis. In the 1982-83 school year, Stiles was 26% African-American, with 57 African-Americans in its student population of 223. Dennis was a school with a student population in excess of 90% African-American. Since 1975, Dennis had an increased percentage of whites as a result of receiving white students from the former Lincoln School area to the north. B509184. In the 1982-83 school year, Dennis was 31% African-American. Stiles was ultimately left open.
The only other school that experienced a big change in enrollment in the 1982-83 school year was Whitehead, which resegregated from 19.08% African-American to 3.39% African-American. The RBE approved wing closings at Whitehead School, Garrison School and Fairview School. Bd. Min., 3/28/83, B17558, B17561. As a result of these wing closings, Whitehead School lost only 17% of its white students. In contrast, Whitehead lost 88% of its African-American students. Similarly, Garrison School lost 53% of its white students, but lost 72% of its African-American students due to wing closings. An examination of minority percentage changes in schools during the 1983-84 school year, revealed that the percentage of non-minority students enrolled in racially-identifiable white schools increased slightly as did the percentage of African-American students enrolled in racially-identifiable African-American schools.
In its 1981 Individual Building Analysis, the RSD administrators warned that the closing of certain schools and the reassignment of those students to nearby schools resulting in segregation, would constitute de jure segregation. IBA, B29808. The following closings and reassignments were violative of this warning: Closing Evergreen and sending students to New Milford; closing Guilford Center and sending students to Brookview; closing Fairview and sending students to Johnson; closing Garrison and sending white students to Walker and African-American students to Haskell; closing Skyview and sending students to New Milford and Froberg; and expanding Dennis' boundaries, thereby increasing its racial isolation. The net result of these school and wing closings was that eight schools became substantially more racially isolated, three schools were allowed to remain racially and geographically isolated from the rest of the RSD and many other schools throughout the RSD experienced resegregative enrollment changes. The court finds that the RSD knew that these closures constituted de jure segregation.
Dismantling of Alternative Programs
After the State of Illinois and the Federal court allowed the Rockford Board of Education to proceed without scrutiny, the RBE began to dismantle the alternative programs. In 1981, free transportation and teachers for the full-site programs were canceled, thus effectively eliminating the programs. See, infra, Inequitable Access to Transportation. Additionally, free transportation was eliminated for all students in the secondary schools grades seven through twelve. RBE Letter to Parents, 4/81, B46529. Transportation to some of the alternative programs was also canceled. After the free transportation was canceled, the number of RSD students participating in the desegregation program decreased dramatically. In the 1980-81 school year, 674 students were participating in integration transfers. By the 1981-82 school year, that number had dropped to 277. B4069; B46711.
On March, 1981, the RBE decided to close Lincoln Park Elementary School. Lincoln Park was a full site magnet school that housed the Rockford Alternative Middle School (RAMS) and the Rockford Alternative Elementary School (RAES) programs. Bd. Min., 3/9/81, B16975. The RAMS program was to be moved from Lincoln Park to Lincoln Middle School and the RAES program was to be moved to Ellis School. Id. The RAMS and RAES programs were integrated magnet school programs. Subsequently, despite community protest, the RBE decided to discontinue the RAMS program. Bd. Min., 6/14/82, B17348.
By the 1988-89 school year, the year in which the RSD passed the Reorganization Plan that triggered this lawsuit, the mandatory one-way busing of African-American students was still underway in various schools and the burden of any remaining integration efforts was being born exclusively by minorities. The RSD schools continued to be severely segregated. After twenty years of desegregation efforts in the Rockford School District, six schools had more than 50% minority enrollment, 63% of the elementary schools were racially-identifiable and 33% of the middle and high schools were racially-identifiable.
Generally, courts hearing liability claims avoid finding that some magical percentage of variance in a school's population from the racial composition of the district as a whole makes a school racially imbalanced. Some courts have explicitly held that it is unnecessary to find that specific schools are segregated or to set a precise numerical ratio that designates a school as segregated or integrated. Armstrong v. Brennan, 539 F.2d 625, 633 (7th Cir. 1976), vacated and remanded, 433 U.S. 672, 97 S. Ct. 2907, 53 L. Ed. 2d 1044 (1977), on remand, Armstrong v. O'Connell, 451 F. Supp. 817 (E.D. Wis. 1978), on remand, 463 F. Supp. 1295 (E.D. Wis. 1979); Arthur v. Nyquist, 415 F. Supp. 904, 912 n.9 (W.D.N.Y. 1976), aff'd on reconsideration, 429 F. Supp. 206 (W.D.N.Y. 1977), aff'd in part and rev'd in part on other grounds, 573 F.2d 134 (2nd Cir.), cert. denied, 439 U.S. 860 (1978). A rigid mathematical formula would arguably conflict with the dictates of Keyes that factors other than the composition of a school's student body, "such as the racial and ethnic composition of faculty and staff, and the community and administration attitudes toward the school, must be taken into consideration." Keyes v. School Dist. No. 1, Denver Colorado, 413 U.S. 189, 196, 37 L. Ed. 2d 548, 93 S. Ct. 2686 (1973) (emphasis added); see also, Oliver v. Kalamazoo Bd. of Educ., 368 F. Supp. 143, 153 (W.D. Mich. 1976), aff'd, 559 F.2d 1042 (6th Cir. 1977), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 997 (1977).
This does not suggest, however, that student enrollment figures do not play a central role in desegregation cases. Typically the evidence in desegregation cases includes vast historical data showing enrollment by race in the school district and in its individual schools. Based upon the circumstances of the case, the court then makes findings that highlight: (1) the percentage deviation between the minority enrollment in particular schools and the minority population of the district as a whole; and (2) the existence and number of virtual one-race schools in the district. See, e.g., United States v. Yonkers, 624 F. Supp. 1276, 1386 (S.D.N.Y. 1985), aff'd, 837 F.2d 1181 (2d Cir. 1987) (64% of district's white students attended schools with at least 90% white students, while 28% of the minority students were enrolled in schools with at least 80% minority enrollment); Lansing, 429 F. Supp. 583, 609 (in a system in which 18,800 students attended 48 elementary schools and 79% of the students were white and 21% minority, two elementary schools were 85% minority and a third 49% minority); Morgan, 379 F. Supp. 410, 424 (in a system of 96,000 students, in which 61% of the students were white and 39% minority, 84% of the white students attended schools that were more than 80% white and 62% of the African-American students attended schools more than 70% African-American); Oliver, 368 F. Supp. at 153 (in a system of 29 elementary schools in which 16.1% of the elementary students were African-American, 92.3% of African-American children went to five schools).
In considering the degree of segregation in student assignments, courts frequently rely upon expert testimony that identifies particular schools as racially imbalanced based upon a certain percentage deviation between the proportion of minority enrollment in a given school and that in the whole district. See, Higgins v. Bd. of Educ. of Grand Rapids, 508 F.2d 779, 787 n.12 (6th Cir. 1974) (15% is a commonly accepted guideline); Columbus, 429 F. Supp. at 229 (5% variation). Although these analyses do not provide a talismanic mathematical formula for racial identifiability, Price v. Denison Indep. School Dist., 694 F.2d 334 (5th Cir. 1983), such formulas serve as a "rough gauge which is a useful reference point when examining particular schools." Columbus, 429 F. Supp. at 268-69. Based upon this type of statistical evidence, and with appropriate reference to conditions in the other areas noted in Keyes, a court may then conclude that the district's schools are "racially imbalanced" or "racially-identifiable."
Conduct Contributing to Racially Identifiable Schools
In cases involving non-statutory dual school systems, courts have cited a wide range of acts and omissions by school boards that have caused or maintained segregation in student assignment. The court finds that the Rockford School District engaged in a pattern of unlawful acts and omissions involving the conduct noted below that caused and maintained segregation in its schools.
In most desegregation cases, courts have noted instances in which the defendant school district developed boundaries and attendance zones in such a manner that racial segregation in school assignments resulted. See Yonkers, 624 F. Supp. at 1430, 1526-27; Reed v. Rhodes, 455 F. Supp. 546, 558 (N.D. Ohio 1978), aff'd in part and remanded in part on other grounds, 607 F.2d 714 (6th Cir. 1979), cert. denied, 455 U.S. 1018 (1982); Berry v. School Dist. of Benton Harbor, 442 F. Supp. 1280, 1312-17 (W.D.Mich. 1977); Lansing, 429 F. Supp. at 596; Penick v. Columbus Bd. of Educ., 429 F. Supp. 229, 245-46 (S.D. Ohio 1977), aff'd in part and remanded in part on other grounds, 583 F.2d 787 (6th Cir. 1978), aff'd, 443 U.S. 449, 99 S. Ct. 2941, 61 L. Ed. 2d 666 (1979; Arthur v. Nyquist, 415 F. Supp. at 924, 934-36; Amos v. Board of School , 408 F. Supp. 765, 783-84 (E.D. Wis.), aff'd, Armstrong v. Brennan, 539 F.2d 625 (7th Cir. 1976), vacated and remanded on other grounds, 433 U.S. 672, 97 S. Ct. 2907, 53 L. Ed. 2d 1044 (1977); Morgan, 379 F. Supp. at 438; Oliver, 368 F. Supp. at 167; Booker v. Special School Dist. No. 1, Minneapolis, Minn., 351 F. Supp. 799, 804 (D. Minn. 1972); Johnson v. San Francisco Unified School Dist., 339 F. Supp. 1315, 1336, 1341 (N.D. Cal. 1971), vacated on other grounds, 500 F.2d 349 (9th Cir. 1974); United States v. Bd. of School Commissioners of Indianapolis, 332 F. Supp. at 666-67; Spangler v. Pasadena City Bd. of Educ., 311 F. Supp. 501, 509-10 (C.D. Cal. 1970); United States v. School Dist. 151 of Cook County, 286 F. Supp. 786, 798 (N.D. Ill. 1968), aff'd, 404 F.2d 1125 (7th Cir. 1969), cert. denied, 402 U.S. 943 (1971).
The court finds that the Rockford Board of Education gerrymandered school attendance area boundaries in order to create and maintain a separate school system based upon race. The RSD's alleged policy of maintaining neighborhood schools was, in fact, a policy of maintaining neighborhood white schools. Minority students simply did not have the same rights as majority students in the RSD.
Manipulating Feeder Patterns
In many schools districts, high school attendance is determined by feeder patterns geared to schools rather than to geographical areas. Thus, manipulation of these feeder patterns to perpetuate or increase segregation has the same effect as manipulating attendance zones boundaries. See Berry, 442 F. Supp. at 1310; Morgan, 379 F. Supp. at 442-48. The court finds that the Rockford School District consistently and intentionally manipulated school feeder patterns in order to maintain segregation in its schools.
Optional Attendance Zones and Open Enrollment
In some desegregation cases, courts have found that the defendant school districts contributed to segregative conditions by employing optional attendance zones or open enrollment policies by means of which students were permitted to attend one of two or more schools. See United States v. School Dist. of Omaha, 521 F.2d 530, 540-43 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 423 U.S. 946, 46 L. Ed. 2d 280, 96 S. Ct. 361 (1975); Oliver, 508 F.2d 178, 183-84; Brinkman, 503 F.2d 684, 695-96; Penick, 429 F. Supp. at 245-46; Arthur, 415 F. Supp. at 924, 939-41; Armstrong, 408 F. Supp. at 812; Morgan, 379 F. Supp. at 449; Booker, 351 F. Supp. at 804; Board Of School Commissioners of Indianapolis, 332 F. Supp. at 668. The predictable result of giving majority or minority students the option of attending predominantly white or African-American schools is student choices that create or intensify segregation in school enrollments. Id.
The court finds that the Rockford School District consistently and intentionally maintained an open enrollment policy that contributed nothing to the desegregation of its schools. The open enrollment policy benefited majority students through the use of alternative programs while, at the same time, burdened minority students through mandatory one-way busing.
Construction of New Schools
Courts commonly cite a school board's segregative building placement decisions as contributing to segregation in student assignments. See Omaha, 521 F.2d at 543; Reed, 455 F. Supp. at 561; Berry, 442 F. Supp. at 1326-27; Penick, 429 F. Supp. at 241-42; Armstrong, 408 F. Supp. at 788; Morgan, 379 F. Supp. at 428-31; Oliver, 368 F. Supp. at 170; Johnson, 339 F. Supp. at 1337, 1341. The placement of school facilities on particular sites is an action with a singular capacity to promote either integration or maintain segregation. Reed, 455 F. Supp. at 561; Booker, 351 F. Supp. at 804; School Dist. 151 of Cook County, 286 F. Supp. at 798. In Keyes, the United States Supreme Court condemned "the practice of building a school . . . to a certain size and in a certain location, with conscious knowledge that it would be a segregated school." 413 U.S. at 201-2. Other courts have similarly found that situating schools, "under the guise of pursuing a neighborhood school policy . . . so that these schools were segregated on the very day they opened their doors," represents "positive action to aggravate segregation." Soria v. Oxnard School Dist., 386 F. Supp. 539, 543 (C.D. Cal. 1974); Lansing, 455 F. Supp. at 622.
The court finds that when the RSD built a new school, boundaries were gerrymandered in order to continue to isolate minority populations. Further, the Rockford School District's decisions as to the location of new schools were made in such a way as to promote and retain segregation. Minority students bore a disproportionate burden in relation to transportation as a result of these decisions.
School Closings and the Assignment or Reassignment of Students
When faced with the need to close a school or to reassign students because of overcrowding or other similar factors, school districts are often presented with an opportunity to make either segregative or integrative student assignments. A school district's consistent choice of the more segregative option is evidence of unlawful conduct. See Yonkers, 624 F. Supp. at 1528; Reed, 445 F. Supp. at 560-61; Berry, 442 F. Supp. at 1313-15.
School closings can increase segregation if a district assigns students to other schools in a racially segregative manner. See Reed, 455 F. Supp. at 563; Berry, 442 F. Supp. at 1304. In some cases, school authorities have closed schools that appeared likely to become naturally integrated through changes in neighborhood residential patterns. Swann, 402 U.S. 1, 21, 28 L. Ed. 2d 554, 91 S. Ct. 1267; Oliver, 368 F. Supp. at 164. This action has sometimes been accompanied by a decision to build new schools in outlying regions farthest from the minority population center so as to maintain the separation of the races with a minimum departure from the formal principles of "neighborhood schools." Swann, 402 U.S. at 21. Such a policy does more than just skew the short-run racial composition of the student body of the new school; the policy may well promote segregated residential patterns that, when combined with "neighborhood zoning," further lock the school system into the mold of segregation of the races. Id.
The court finds that when the RSD closed a school, it consistently reassigned the affected students in such a way that the white students went to racially-identifiable white schools and the African-American students went to racially-identifiable African-American schools. As such, the RSD maintained the segregative nature of its school district.
Additions to Existing Schools
Along these same lines, each decision concerning additions to existing schools offers a school district the option of locating the addition either to promote or alleviate racial segregation. For example, the decision to build an addition onto a school that is 100% African-American is a decision to increase the number of African-American students enrolled in that particular school. Accordingly, courts have frequently held that decisions to add to existing schools impermissibly contributed to segregation in student enrollments. See Reed, 455 F. Supp. at 562; Berry, 442 F. Supp. at 1310-12; Oliver, 368 F. Supp. at 173; Booker, 351 F. Supp. at 803; Johnson, 339 F. Supp. at 1318; Board of School Commissioners of Indianapolis, 332 F. Supp. at 667; Spangler, 311 F. Supp. at 517. The courts finds that the Rockford School District consistently and intentionally constructed additions to its facilities in such a way as to promote and maintain segregation within its school system.
Manipulation of School Capacity
In some instances, school districts have manipulated school capacities as a means of effecting racial segregation. See Reed, 455 F. Supp. at 565; Morgan, 379 F. Supp. at 426-27; Spangler, 311 F. Supp. at 518. School districts have permitted African-American schools to operate at overcapacity rather than transfer or reassign minority students to white schools or have operated white schools at overcapacity in order to avoid sending white students to African-American schools. Id, see, also, United States v. Texas Educ. Agency, 600 F.2d 518, 522 (5th Cir. 1979). The court finds that the RSD operated its majority schools at overcapacity levels in order to avoid the transfer of majority students to racially-identifiable minority schools. The RSD engaged in such actions consistently and intentionally.
Special Transfers and Transfer Policies
In many cases, defendant school boards have employed transfer policies in order to perpetuate school segregation. One common technique is the use of special transfers to allow white students to avoid attending predominantly African-American schools. This device has an obvious segregative effect on student enrollments. See Omaha, 521, F.2d at 539-40; Reed, 455 F. Supp. at 566; Lansing, 429 F. Supp. at 597-601; Armstrong, 408 F. Supp. at 791-94, 819; Morgan, 379 F. Supp. at 473-74; Spangler, 311 F. Supp. at 520. Another segregative transfer technique is to limit African-American transfers to white schools by imposing various conditions on such transfers. See Berry, 442 F. Supp. at 1312 (no transfer granted if likely to lead to further transfers). When the foreseeable effect of a transfer policy is to increase the racial identifiability of schools with large minority enrollments, the policy strongly indicates segregative intent. Lansing, 559 F.2d at 1051; Armstrong, 451 F. Supp. at 856-57; Berry, 442 F. Supp. at 1313.
The court finds that the RSD permitted special transfers for majority students whose parents requested such transfers. The RSD engaged in such action even when the transfer had a negative integration effect on the schools involved. Such a policy in the RSD had the effect of maintaining racially-identifiable schools.
Finally, the court finds that the RSD was aware of desegregation proposals that would have brought about the easy and swift integration of the Rockford School District. The proposals were all rejected. Any desegregation programs adopted by the RSD burdened only minority students and set up a benefit program for white students. The primary method used by the RBE to desegregate its schools was the mandatory transfer of minority students and the voluntary transfer of white students through the provision of special programs. When pressured by the State of Illinois and the United States District Court throughout most of the 1970's, the RBE used delay tactics in order to avoid compliance with the dictates of the United States Constitution and the rules and regulations of the ISBE.
FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT DISPARITIES
Children of all races should have equivalent facilities, equipment and supplies. Children should have an equal opportunity to learn. The RSD, however, did not provide equivalent facilities, equipment or supplies to the racially-identifiable minority schools. Minority students and their teachers, at various times, had little support equipment, an insufficient number of textbooks (which were often dated) and a constant drought of supplies. Further, the record shows that minority students were taught in older, and at times poorly maintained buildings. The RSD also maintained a private gifts policy that contributed to the disparity between the races.
Systemwide Disparities In Facilities And EMS
Data Demonstrating Systemwide Disparities
At the RBE meeting of February 23, 1970, Superintendent Shaheen submitted a report indicating that there existed a considerable imbalance and uneven distribution of school equipment throughout the District at that time. Bd. Min., 2/23/70, B0012479. In light of these disparities among schools with regard to equipment, Dr. Shaheen recommended to the RBE that equipment and supplies be balanced among the schools in Rockford as much as possible. He recommended that such balancing be achieved by transfers of equipment where there was sizable imbalance and/or by additional purchases of equipment where balance can be readily achieved. Such a balancing was never performed.
In 1973-74, the RSD prepared a report entitled "1973-74 Elementary School Facilities." B48233, B48263-B48575. Under Section C of that report, data was presented regarding physical systems (cooling systems, lighting, interior maintenance, exterior maintenance, and ground maintenance) in each of the elementary schools. Evaluation of this data revealed disparities between African-American schools and white schools. Chart I shows the mean ranking of the physical systems by school type (African-American, integrated, white), ranked on a scale of 1 to 4, with 1 being the lowest and 4 being the highest. African-American schools had a mean ranking with regard to physical systems of 2.45. Integrated schools had a mean of 2.51, and white schools a mean of 2.57.
1973-74 Elementary School Facilities
NW SW NE SE
A 1.30 2.04 2.32 2.20
B 2.80 2.55 2.74 2.53
C 2.00 2.50 2.64 2.50
D 1.80 3.04 2.87 2.75
All Categories 2.53 2.53 2.64 2.50
Black Integrated White
A 1.91 2.33 2.30
B 2.50 2.33 2.61
C 2.58 2.55 2.54
D 2.81 2.82 2.83
All Categories 2.45 2.51 2.57
Table 1 gives a detailed breakdown of the allocation of equipment by racial composition of the schools. Since the three categories of schools contained different numbers of schools, the pieces of equipment per school is evaluated. While there is some variation, the African-Americans schools tended to have the lowest per school allocation, with either integrated or white schools having the highest allocation of equipment. The magnitude of this difference is illustrated in the last column of the table, which shows the ratio of the white per school allocation to the African-American per school allocation. On most of the items, the ratio is greater than 1, indicating that the white schools had a greater number of pieces of equipment per school.
Table 1: Per School Equipment Allocation, by School Racial Composition.
Type of Equipment Black Integrated White Ratio of
Schools: Schools: Schools: White to
Per School Per School Per School Black
Allocation Allocation Allocation Per School
Microscope 0.71 4.42 8.31 11.63
Speak & Spell 0.00 0.17 0.08*--
35mm Viewer 1.71 2.33 1.46 0.85
Language Master 2.29 2.67 1.46 0.64
Tape Recorder 14.14 24.92 26.15 1.85
Carts 16.00 21.25 28.38 1.77
Copy Machines 2.14 2.58 3.15 1.47
Duplicators 2.43 3.67 3.23 1.33
Kilns 0.43 0.67 0.85 1.97
Record Players 19.71 18.50 23.46 1.19
Pianos 2.71 3.67 3.77 1.39
Projectors 12.29 14.50 19.08 1.55
Opaque Projectors 1.00 1.33 1.77 1.77
Overhead Projectors 8.43 7.58 12.00 1.42
Screens 17.86 19.58 17.54 0.98
Slide Projectors 1.71 1.83 3.62 2.11
Televisions 2.43 4.00 7.46 3.08
VCR's 0.86 2.00 3.00 3.5
Tape Decks 0.00 0.00 0.15 --
Radios 1.29 1.75 0.92 0.72
Controlled Readers 1.57 3.92 5.46 3.48
Adding Machines 0.86 1.08 1.08 1.26
Calculators 0.43 2.25 4.08 9.52
Stapler, Electric 0.00 0.33 0.31 * --
Typewriter 3.71 2.83 3.15 0.85
Microphone 0.57 1.67 3.15 5.52
Cameras 0.57 2.08 1.62 2.83
Dark Shade 0.00 5.42 7.31 --
Amplifier 0.00 0.33 0.69 --
Dry Mount Press 0.14 0.17 0.15 1.08
Fan 0.29 1.92 6.23 21.81
Computers 16.00 20.92 20.92 1.31
Monitors 15.86 20.58 20.46 1.29
Printers 3.29 3.75 3.38 1.03
Table 2: Pieces of Equipment per School, by School Racial Composition.
School Type Student Teacher Misc. Computer All
Equipment Equipment Equipment Equipment Equipment
Black Schools 18.86 90.86 6.57 35.14 151.43
Integrated 34.50 106.83 18.08 45.25 204.67
White Schools 37.46 133.85 27.77 44.77 243.85
All Schools 32.28 114.31 19.50 42.84 208.97
Figure 1 is a graph depicting these relationships. Figures 2 through 5 illustrate the relationship between number of pieces of equipment allocated (for the four categories of equipment) and the percentage of African-American students in school.
Overall, for each category of equipment, as the percentage of African-American students in the school increased, the number of pieces of equipment allocated to the school declined. The advantage of these graphs is that the schools are not grouped (i.e., "African-American", "integrated", "white") and, therefore, the full strength of the relationship between pieces of equipment and percentage of African-American students is conveyed.
Per School Equipment, by Racial Composition of Schools
The relationship between school racial composition and the allocation of student equipment
The relationship between school racial composition and the allocation of teacher equipment
The relationship between school racial composition and the allocation of miscellaneous equipment
The relationship between school racial composition and the allocation of computer equipment
The equipment disparities revealed by Defendant's January 2, 1990 Facilities and Equipment Evaluation were known to the School District through an annual equipment inventory process conducted by the District. The Facilities and Equipment Evaluation states that the District maintained permanent inventory lists that were utilized annually to inventory equipment in various schools and District facilities. Facilities and Equipment Evaluation at 14-17, B509071. This process was coordinated by the Director of Purchasing. Permanent inventory forms were sent out annually to each school for correction and verification. These permanent inventory forms required item-by-item identification of any equipment that was received through Federal funds of any kind. The annual forms also called for comments on the condition of the equipment. Looking at the data, then, one could determine the usefulness of the equipment in each school.
John Costello, former RSD principal who was retained by the RSD in 1989 to close ten schools, testified that inventory lists for the years immediately prior to the filing of this lawsuit were unavailable because they were not retained in original form. Costello Dep. at 14. Defendant's failure to produce pre-lawsuit inventory lists makes precise evaluation of equipment allocation to African-American schools at the time this suit was filed impossible. However, even Defendant's post-lawsuit equipment evaluations, performed after some remedial measures were taken, showed strong disparities in equipment allocation.
Former Board member Carl Towns testified that when he became a Board member he performed a purposeful series of school visits to determine conditions in the schools. In his opinion, pervasive differences in EMS and in the curriculum being offered in the various schools existed. Towns Dep. at 25-26, 30. Dr. Robert Greene, former Haskell School principal, also testified that there were widespread disparities in EMS among the elementary schools. Greene Dep. at 79-84.
Eloise Beal taught both as a substitute teacher and as a full-time instructor. As a substitute, Beal taught in schools all over the district. During her tenure as a full-time teacher Beal taught at Church School and at Barbour School. Both Church and Barbour are Southwest Quadrant schools. Beal testified as to the disparities in facilities and equipment between East and West side schools. Beal noticed that East side schools had
[E]verything teachers need to do their job . . . everything seemed to be in shape much better than the classrooms on the west side . . . it was just more advanced, everything was. Everything [on the East side] seemed to be[,] in [a] certifiable sense, just about a hundred percent. . . And I'm saying that the east side seemed to be more prepared in the classroom. . . They had plenty things to -- seemingly to work with. There were times that we didn't have materials to work with. . . The east side schools, the ones that I worked in, had really nice stuff.
Ms. Beal went on to testify about the shortage of textbooks in the schools on the West side. She told of pushing desks together and having multiple students reading from the same book. She testified as to shortages of materials of all kinds, including art supplies, visual aids and workbooks:
We didn't have . . . workbooks for the children . . . I have erased work in workbooks that children had done so the other children coming after, so they would have them, [to] do the same type of work, until these fingers were sore at the end of the day.
The students themselves were well aware of these disparities. One former student, Pat Redmond, went from McIntosh Elementary School, located in the Southwest Quadrant, to Eisenhower Middle School, located in the Northeast Quadrant. He noticed that everything at Eisenhower was basically brand new. He testified that he had newer books and more resources and facilities, and further testified that Eisenhower was "nice and neat." Redmond Dep. at 7.
Nathaniel Martin, a teacher and a principal in the RSD for twenty-eight years, observed pervasive disparities in the educational materials and equipment available at majority schools as opposed to minority schools. When Martin was part of a North Central accreditation team, he visited Eisenhower Middle School and observed a wealth of high technology equipment and books. In contrast, Washington Middle School, where Martin was principal, had insufficient numbers of books, books with outdated copyrights and a lack of high technology equipment. The distribution of discretionary funds to schools favored by the RSD's superintendents and assistant superintendents contributed to the disparities in equipment and materials between majority and minority schools. While Martin was principal at Washington Middle School, his requests for discretionary funds were repeatedly turned down by the RSD's administrators.
Hiram Gregory Luna, a former member of the School Desegregation Committee, visited a number of elementary schools on the East and West sides of Rockford. He remembers the schools being "worlds apart." Similarly, Sandra Glaspie, the current assistant principal at East High School and an employee of the Rockford School District for twenty years, noticed disparities of supplies and books between East and West side schools.
Michael Bozym was a teacher at the Royal Avenue Annex. From 1968-1970, the Annex housed fifth and sixth grade students from Ellis and Church Schools. The Annex was located in the Southwest Quadrant. Bozym remembers visiting Walker School on the East side. Walker was carpeted, had a full library and a media center. Bozym testified as to how surprised he was at the differences between Walker and the Annex where he taught. "I felt like a country kid in the big city looking at the buildings." Bozym Dep. at 17-18. The Annex did not have a library. As a result, teachers would put all of the school's books on a cart and roll it from room to room. As many as four students would need to share a book and no one could check the books out. Walker, in contrast, had a librarian, a library and many books. The whole environment at Walker was completely different from the Royal Avenue Annex. At Walker the environment "was inviting and it shaped behavior . . . in a positive way for those children who were comfortable there." Id. at 19-23.
Dr. Thomas Shaheen, Superintendent of Schools from 1965-1970, observed that achievement levels and the quality of facilities correlated with the race of the student body. African-American students tended to have lower academic results and their schools were of poorer quality. Dr. Shaheen stated that the imbalances in equipment from school to school in the RSD was a substantial problem during his time as Superintendent. Access to equipment was dependent on where a child went to school. For example, parent organizations in some sections of Rockford could raise several thousands of dollars in one weekend to buy needed equipment. The poorer sections of Rockford, however, were in greater need for equipment and less able to raise additional funds. During his tenure, Dr. Shaheen informed the RSD that it was the obligation of the RSD to make sure that equipment and materials were available universally. Allowing the maintenance of a system that let wealthier schools have more equipment and materials was something he could not support. T. Shaheen Test., Tr. at 56-57.
Dr. Connie Goode, an African-American employee of the RSD, refused to send her children to their neighborhood school, Ellis, because the school was in very poor condition, the school was dirty and she didn't believe that the principal would be sensitive to the needs of her children. Dr. Goode also described the condition of educational materials and supplies that were available at Washington Middle School (in the Southwest Quadrant) in the 1960's. The books that were available were outdated and there was a lack of equipment in the science laboratory. Goode Test., Tr. at 1314.
Disparity Examples At Individual Schools
Individual school histories over a twenty year period highlight the systemwide facilities and equipment disparities detailed above. Montague School, located in the Southwest Quadrant, was 69% African-American in 1970-71. The RSD was under pressure to move the Montague students because Montague School was not in compliance with State fire codes. The State Fire Safety Code required minimum safety standards in all public schools as of 1964. In 1964, the year of the Code's enactment, the RSD unsuccessfully sued the State of Illinois in an attempt to have the Code declared unconstitutional. The conditions at Montague School were so bad that parents, teachers and community residents asked the Board to close Montague because they believed it was unsafe for the building to be occupied. On February 16, 1971, approximately twenty-five Montague elementary students were removed from their classes by their parents and taken to Carlson Elementary School, where the parents asked that their children be enrolled. Available space existed at Carlson since the Jane Adams Housing Project children, who had previously been bused there, were sent back to Kishwaukee School by the RSD.
Despite the unsafe conditions at Montague, the RSD found that Montague was adequate to continue to house children for another four months, until the end of the school year. In February of 1971, following the RSD's decision, the RSD heard from the West Side Community Organization (WESCO), the Montague School staff, Grant Schneider who was the Area 4 Chair of the RSD, Rosa Stamps of the Concerned Parents of Montague School and others that the Montague students should be immediately moved to the then empty Page Park School, northwest of Rockford. The RSD continued to refuse to relocate the Montague students until the end of the year.
In mid-February 1971, in response to the RSD's refusal to remove these mostly African-American children from what was believed to be a dangerous facility, the parents and students began a boycott of the school. On March 4, 1971, the parents agreed to end the boycott and return their children to school. On March 8, 1971, the RSD agreed to transport the Montague children to Page Park School for the remainder of the school year.
Mary E. Williams, a former teacher in both the Winnebago County and Rockford Public Schools from 1953 until 1982, testified regarding Montague School:
I was hired at Montague Elementary School, which was part of the City of Rockford public school system. I was very sad about going to Montague because it was nothing like Nashold. Nashold was a new school and very modern. Montague, on the other hand, was a much older structure. The school was very dark and dingy and did not have the modern conveniences of Nashold. I worked at Montague for two days before the School District informed me of an opening at Peterson Elementary School. Because of the condition of the school, I was happy to leave Montague and I stayed at Peterson for 25 years until the school was closed after the 1981-82 school year.
Mary Williams Aff. at PP 7-8.
During her deposition, Williams elaborated on the differences between Nashold and Montague. With regard to Nashold, she noted "the modern conveniences" of the facility.
We had a wonderful library at Nashold, complete library. We had nice, clean modern bathrooms, visual aids, you know, with the maps and whatever. And nice window lighting and ceiling lighting and everything. It was just modern and it was just nice. Montague didn't have that. I remember when I first went down in the basement to take my children to the bathroom and I remember the steps creaking. I said, oh, my goodness, this is like going down in a dungeon, creaking to take them to the bathroom. And it was dark down there.
Prior to its closing in 1973, Muldoon School, a predominantly African-American school in the Southwest Quadrant, was in dire need of renovation. Muldoon was an old, previously closed Catholic girls' school, that was purchased by the RSD and operated for only one year, housing 4th, 5th and 6th grade children from Ellis. In response to parent protests, the RSD allocated a small sum of money for repair work for the school year 1972-73.
Haskell School (approximately 60% African-American from 1970 through 1988) suffered significant adverse effects from facilities conditions which the School Board and Central Office refused to correct despite repeated pleas from the Haskell principal. These conditions were described by the principal, Dr. Robert Greene, in a paper he presented to the Illinois Principals' Association in October 1983, and were amplified in Dr. Greene's deposition testimony. Dr. Greene further testified that the conditions of these facilities had a significant negative impact on the educational process in the school. BH1860.
When the original seven room Haskell School was built in 1959, the building already had a significant minority enrollment. Pupil Placement Committee data for 1960 showed that the school had 23% African-American students. This percentage increased to 37% in 1967. By 1970, the enrollment was 62% African-American. Building additions in 1962 and 1966 expanded the building to twenty-one classrooms and consumed nearly all of the land surrounding this building, leaving no playground. Id. All three sections of Haskell, built in three different years, lacked acoustical treatment of any kind (except in the office area). The building had tile floors, prestressed concrete ceilings and steel venetian blinds at the windows. Acoustical treatment was lacking not only in the classrooms, but also in the gym and lunchroom. BH1861. Dr. Greene testified that Haskell was like "teaching inside a steel tank." The lack of acoustical treatment made it very difficult for children to hear teacher questions and for teachers to hear student answers. This seriously undermined the educational process. Dr. Greene testified that as soon as he became principal in 1971, he submitted a report to the Superintendent requesting installation of acoustical ceilings in all of the classrooms with carpeting, where feasible. BH1862. Dr. Greene stated that the School Board and the Central Office were unresponsive. Despite his constant pressure for the next twelve years, nothing was ever done by the District to correct this condition, with one exception. In the late 1970's the District did put acoustical ceilings in a couple of the classrooms.
Dr. Greene further testified that once he realized the District would not fix this condition at Haskell, he and the students began a laborious process of raising funds by collecting old newspapers and selling them to trash dealers. Through this process, Dr. Greene and the students were able to raise a few dollars each year and to put acoustical ceilings in one or two classrooms per year. Twelve years passed before all of the Haskell classrooms had acoustical ceilings. According to Dr. Greene, the actual cost of acoustical ceilings was relatively small. The problem could have been solved with a relatively small expenditure on the part of the District.
Dr. Greene's testimony shows that the RSD itself was either an obstacle or, at best, a passive participant in obtaining this playground. Dr. Greene stated that without the relationships developed during his four-year term as County Superintendent of Schools (1967-1971), it would not have been possible to get the playground for Haskell. Greene Dep. at 44-50. Dr. Greene's report states that:
The preceding Principal and Parent-Teacher Organization had petitioned the School Board in 1967 for a playground, but the School Board's $ 24-million building program in 1969-71 failed to allocate any funds for Haskell School. This inaction continued despite a 1969 City-County Planning Commission Study that noted a high density of young children in the Haskell area and the need for a school-neighborhood playground, and despite a 1970 Park District application for federal revenue sharing funds for a Haskell playground.
A second facilities deficiency identified by Dr. Greene upon becoming principal in 1971 was the need for a library/learning center. Dr. Greene made this need known in his report to the Superintendent's Office that year. BH1862. Dr. Greene testified during his deposition that he and parents made repeated efforts to get the library/learning center, but the District would not provide it. He stated that in his visits to Eastside schools, he saw that all of them had such facilities. Dr. Greene believed the School Board would not have failed to respond to a request from an Eastside school for such a facility. Greene Dep. at 61-62, 65-66. Dr. Greene testified that eventually he was able to get the library/learning center built at Haskell. The library/learning center was built, however, by going to downtown buildings that were being demolished for the new Metro Centre and salvaging used drywall and other building materials during the demolition. Dr. Greene then took those back to Haskell where they were installed by a combination of parents and moonlighting District tradesmen (who worked without knowledge of their Central Office supervisors). Id. at 67-72; Bd. Min. 8/14/72, B13458.
The RSD'S Private Gifts Policy Contributed To EMS Disparities
For twenty-five years, the RSD consistently operated in a manner that allowed parent gifts and other private gifts to provide a much better educational experience for white students than for minority students. Schools serving middle and upper income students received more gifts from their PTA's, PTO's and other third-parties, than schools serving lower income students. Accordingly, the schools serving middle and upper income students had far more equipment, materials and supplies.
This problem was constantly recognized in RSD documents. Beginning with Superintendent Shaheen, who asked that the policy allowing gifts to individual schools be changed, through the QUEFAC/ISBE years and right up to the 1989 Reorganization Plan, which explicitly recognized the "inequities created by parent gifts," RSD at no time took any significant corrective action. In fact, the RSD's policy with regard to "Gifts, Grants and Bequests" gave the Board (and the Superintendent in consultation with the Board) complete discretion to accept or reject private gifts to the District. The Board also had complete discretion as to the purpose and allocation of such gifts to the schools.
Further, the RSD exercised discretion over reallocating property from closed schools. With regard to partial school closings and changes in building utilization due to decline and/or shifts in enrollment, the RSD formulated a policy "that gifted property remained in the building so long as the use of that property remained appropriate." The policy also was, however, that the Board "reserved the authority to control the placement or disposition of such property." Bd. Policy, 5/85, B44168; Bd. Policy, 9/8/87, B44169. During a board meeting held on February 23, 1981, when the RSD adopted a plan for several school closings, the RSD responded to a question raised as to the disposition of gifts from PTO and PTA organizations in schools to be closed, that it was Board policy that such gifts become the property of the school district and that they be placed where they were needed. Bd. Min., 2/23/81, B16973. The Board did, in fact, follow its own policy and exercised complete control and discretion over the re-allocation of gifts and PTO funds from schools closed in 1981.
Despite the Board's admitted authority to control the allocation of gifts, the Board always opted (with the exception of closed schools) to allow the donors to decide where the gifts would go. A review of board minutes showed that the RSD accepted gifts as a regular part of each meeting. The Board minutes constituted the record of the gift and contained the value assigned to the gift by the donor. In most cases, the donor designated which school received the gift. Defendant's Response to Interrogatories, 1992-4, No. 6.
In 1987, Michael Williams, a Board member, raised the issue of private gift inequities before the Board. Williams expressed the concern that the Northeast Quadrant parents supported a private school system within the public school system and that it appeared the donor parents exerted substantial control over those schools. The RSD did nothing in response to Williams' concerns.
At a Board meeting on November 27, 1967, Superintendent Shaheen recommended to the Board a "gifts to school" policy that would allow the District, rather than the PTA's, PTO's or other donors, to determine in what manner and for which schools the gifts be used. Dr. Shaheen recommended that whenever gifts were offered by an individual or organization to the District, the Board be the one to determine the propriety of the acceptance of such gifts. Dr. Shaheen also believed that the Board should not accept gifts with restrictions on their use. Any gift presented should become the exclusive property of the RSD and should be used for whatever purpose the administration of the school deemed appropriate. Dr. Shaheen subsequently withdrew his recommendation after the Board heard discussion on the recommended policy from members of the Booster Club of all four high schools and from parents of elementary school children. Thus, the Board did not adopt the suggested policy. Bd. Min., 11/27/67, B11683.
The Board's policy of allowing donors to determine the allocation of gifts resulted in some schools receiving substantially more in terms of equipment and supplies than other schools. The allocation of gifts, in turn, depended on the ability of PTA's and PTO's to raise money. Former Wilson Middle School Principal Curtis Anderson testified that there were "some schools where the PTO's were able to raise much more money to provide help to their schools . . . than some of the parents in the poorer school districts . . . The need for those who were able to provide additional funds was not probably as great as the need for other schools that could not provide additional funds to get school supplies." Anderson Dep. at 32-33.
Accordingly, the court finds that the RSD was well aware that inequities were caused by disproportionate PTO contributions to schools in wealthier neighborhoods. An examination of Board Minutes reveals significant disparities by Quadrant in gifts received:
a. The percentage of gifts going to elementary schools, listed by Quadrant, for the time period 1967-88 are: Southeast 47%, Northwest 21%, Northeast 21%, and Southwest 11%
b. The percentage of gifts going to middle schools, listed by Quadrant for the time period 1967-1988 are: Northeast 53%, Southeast 24%, Northwest 22%, and Southwest .6%.
c. The percentage of gifts going to high schools, listed by Quadrant for the time period 1967-1988 are: Northeast 54%, Southeast 29%, and Northwest and Southwest 17%.
Dollar Amount and Percent Going to Quadrant
NE SE NW SW
PTO Contributions $ 269,918 $ 404,251 $ 154,887 $ 87,847
29% 44% 17% 10%
Other Gifts $ 14,397 $ 8,491 $ 10,297 $ 30,377
23% 13% 16% 48%
Contributions and $ 284,315 $ 412,742 $ 165,184 $ 118,225
Gifts Combined 29% 42% 17% 12%
Dollar Amount and Percent Going to Quadrant
NE SE NW SW
PTO Contributions $ 78,585 $ 46,127 $ 30,607 $ 75
51% 30% 20% 0%
Other Gifts $ 1,116 $ 6,784 $ 26,755 $ 21,695
2% 12% 47% 39%
Contributions and $ 79,701 $ 52,911 $ 57,362 $ 21,770
Gifts Combined 38% 25% 27% 10%
Dollar Amount and Percent Going to Quadrant
NE SE NW & SW
PTO Contributions $ 123,306 $ 44,046 $ 45,021
58% 21% 21%
Other Gifts $ 138,544 $ 64,847 $ 33,350
59% 27% 14%
Contributions and $ 261,850 $ 108,893 $ 78,371
Gifts Combined 58% 24% 17%
Dollar Amount and Percent Going to Quadrant
NE SE NW SW
PTO Contributions $ 471,809 $ 494,424 $ 230,514 $ 87,922
37% 38% 18% 7%
Other Gifts $ 154,057 $ 80,122 $ 70,332 $ 52,072
43% 22% 20% 15%
Contributions and $ 625,866 $ 574,546 $ 300,846 $ 139,994
Gifts Combined 38% 35% 18% 9%
The maintenance of unequal school facilities, equipment and educational materials denies minority students an equal educational opportunity. Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Bd. of Educ., 402 U.S. 1, 18, 28 L. Ed. 2d 554, 91 S. Ct. 1267 (1971); Green v. County School Bd., 391 U.S. 430, 435, 20 L. Ed. 2d 716, 88 S. Ct. 1689 (1968). In some instances, the quality of the school facilities, equipment and materials may cause a school to be racially identifiable. See, Berry v. School Dist. of Benton Harbor, 442 F. Supp. 1280, 1303-1306 (W.D. Mich. 1977) (African-American schools older, operated at higher percentage of capacity and had poorer physical conditions, educational materials and library facilities); United States v. Yonkers Bd. of Educ., 624 F. Supp. 1276, 1431-34 (S.D.N.Y. 1985), aff'd, 837 F.2d 1181 (2nd Cir. 1987), cert. denied, 487 U.S. 1251 (1988) (minority schools lacked playground and recreational space and suffered from lack of classroom space, limited instructional areas for educational specialists and inferior facility conditions); Oliver v. Kalamazoo Bd. of Educ., 368 F. Supp. 143, 174-76 (W.D. Mich. 1973) (minority schools were older, substandard and unsafe).
The court finds that the RSD's policies and practices with regard to facilities and the provision of equipment, materials and supplies to schools within the RSD caused great disparities in the quality of education between minority and predominantly white schools. System-wide disparities in facilities, equipment, materials and supplies between minority and predominantly white schools is unlawful. Such policies and practices of the RSD clearly indicate intentional discrimination.
On February 28, 1989, the RSD adopted an extensive plan for changes in District operations entitled "Together Toward a Brighter Tomorrow." This plan, together with the explanatory and implementation documents generated by the RSD, is referred to in this section as the "Reorganization Plan" or "Plan."
The Reorganization Plan resegregated the District's elementary schools, closed naturally integrated West High School and several African-American elementary schools, and imposed extreme disparate burdens and educational disadvantages upon minority students. The Plan triggered this litigation.
This section examines the Reorganization Plan and the circumstances of its consideration and adoption by the RSD. Particular aspects and impacts of the Reorganization Plan include: the consequences for elementary schools; the availability of a non-segregative alternative for elementary student assignment; effects on secondary schools, especially in the closing of West High; and the large net increase in transportation, despite a stated goal to reduce transportation.
Many aspects of the Reorganization Plan were never implemented. For the purposes of this opinion, the court has evaluated the Plan in terms of the consequences that Defendant RSD had anticipated at the time of the Plan's adoption, as reflected in enrollment and program projections issued on February 28, 1989 (or developed between that date and May 11, 1989, the date the Complaint in this lawsuit was filed). Similarly, any actions taken by the RSD staff to ameliorate the impact of the Plan after the Complaint in this case was filed are not considered by the court.
The RSD enrollment projections explained the impact of the Plan in terms of "% minority," that is, the combined percentage of all minorities in a school. No breakdowns by separate race/ethnic categories were performed. Accordingly, while most data in this order are presented for African-Americans and Hispanics separately, the particular findings in this section are based upon the District's "% minority" data. The court finds this to be a reasonably close approximation of African-American-plus Hispanic enrollment, since only 3% of the Fall 1988 enrollment in the RSD was Asian and Native American. In the analysis of resegregative impact, however, the District's "% minority" data was converted into African-American-plus-Hispanic data, by subtracting from the minority enrollment at each school the number of Asian and Native American students enrolled in that school in the Fall 1988.
Finally, this section employs the definition of desegregation used elsewhere in this Order. A school is "racially-identifiable minority" if the relevant enrollment percentage exceeds the systemwide average by more than fifteen percentage points. A school is "racially-identifiable white" if its minority enrollment percentage is less than 50% of the systemwide average.
At the secondary level in 1988-89, the overall African-American/Hispanic percentage was 24.9%, yielding a desegregation range of 12.4% to 39.9%. On that basis, six of the ten middle and high schools in the system were desegregated. The remaining four were each within 3% of the desegregation range. Id. In large part, this level of desegregation was achieved through the mandatory reassignment of minority students to non-Southwest schools and through the voluntary transfer of white students to alternative programs located in predominantly minority schools. B509110; B509125; D8388. The RSD admitted in its 1989 Answer that "almost all minority movement for desegregation [was] mandatory, while virtually all white movement [was] voluntary in response to special program offerings." Complaint and Answer at P 9.3.
The January Version Of The 1989 Reorganization Plan
On January 24, 1989, Interim Superintendent Swanson recommended and the Board of Education promulgated, the first version of the Reorganization Plan (hereinafter the "January Plan"). "The primary rationale for the Plan was to reduce expenditures to offset projected future-year operating deficits." Id. at P 14. The January version of the Plan estimated costs savings of approximately $ 6.47 million, enough to offset the RSD's deficit projection for 1989-90. Much of the costs savings was derived from steps such as closing swimming pools and staff reductions. B509142.
One provision of the Plan terminated the elementary mandatory assignment system then in effect. Complaint and Answer at P 16.1. The January version of this provision read as follows:
2.12 Draw elementary school boundaries to enable all elementary students to attend schools in the general area of their homes.
This will facilitate parental involvement in the education of their children; reduce the need for transportation; and encourage the use of schools as neighborhood centers. Students will be allowed to transfer for purposes of desegregation and participation in alternative programs.
Id. Thus, the January version of the Plan relocated all or most of the desegregative alternative programs from schools in the Southwest Quadrant to schools in the Northeast and Southeast Quadrants. B509149.
The January plan also proposed closing six elementary schools, two of which were in the Southwest Quadrant, Garrison and Barbour. No schools in the Northeast Quadrant were to be closed. January Plan at 5, B509136. Three other Southwest elementary schools were to be partially closed through split-grade pairs (further explained below). Id. at 6, B509137. The January Plan also closed West High School, a naturally integrated school in a contiguous residential area that produced a racial mix of students reasonably approximating the systemwide racial proportions. In addition, the January Plan redrew the boundaries of the remaining secondary schools in such a manner that Westside students were mandatorily assigned to Eastside secondary schools. This provision stated:
2.13 Design secondary school boundaries which create racial and socio-economic diversity and optimum enrollment in each school; and make the high school boundaries identical with their underlying middle schools.
Although the RSD's stated purpose for the Plan was to reduce expenditures, no cost savings were projected by the Plan either from returning to neighborhood elementary schools or from relocating the alternative programs. The January version of the Plan was tentatively approved by the Board of Education and issued for public comment, by a 6-1 vote with the African-American member of the Board, Michael Williams, in opposition.
The Revised February 1989 Reorganization Plan
The January Plan evoked extensive public reaction, including criticism of its various proposals. In particular, the proposed closing of West High School aroused intense protest from the neighborhood where that school was located. Northwest side parents formed the "Save West High Committee" for the purpose of opposing the closing of West High School. Within two weeks, the Save West High Committee presented the Board with 12,000 signatures in opposition to the closing of West High. D11845-D12286. Rockford's Mayor, John McNamara, also publicly opposed the closing of West High School. See D13853.
In the face of community opposition, Superintendent Swanson and the Board sought to keep the West High building open. In reviewing alternatives to closing West High, the District's administrative leadership recommended that Auburn High School be closed. In his February 8, 1989 memorandum to the Board entitled "Modifications to Original Recommendations," Superintendent Swanson stated in an addendum:
After hearing the concerns of city officials and the business community, I feel we may not have given sufficient consideration to the impact on the West High business and residential neighborhood. I am suggesting that West High remain open and Auburn High School be closed.
Within three weeks of its original decision to close West High School, the District promulgated, on February 14, 1989, a Modified Reorganization Plan that, among other things, rescinded the closing of West High School. This version of the Plan was also issued for public comment by a 6-1 vote, with the minority member of the Board in opposition. In the RBE minutes of the February 14, 1989 meeting, under a section entitled: "Modifications to Previously Recommended Changes in District Operations," it was noted that "a discussion took place regarding the equality of the revised recommendations . . . [and] the effects the revised plan would have on the elementary children on the West side." Bd. Min., 2/14/89, B21642.
In the Revised Plan of February 14th, the Board rejected Superintendent Swanson's recommendation to keep West High open and close Auburn High instead. The Board opted, rather, to keep the West High building open by converting it to a middle school. In doing so, the Board adopted measures that, through a domino effect, placed burdens upon the minority students in the Southwest Quadrant. Summary of Modifications of Original Plan, 2/14/89, B509157; Confer Dep. at 59. Those measures included:
The West High building became a middle school rather than a high school. To keep the West building open, Defendants removed the GIT, Gifted and Grades 4-8 CAPA students from Wilson, located in the Southwest Quadrant.
Wilson was converted to a Grades 3-6 elementary school.
Three additional elementary schools, surrounding Wilson in the Southwest Quadrant, were closed: Church, Stiles and Ellis.
Two additional split grade structures (K-2) were established at McIntosh and Dennis, feeding into Wilson.
Wilson, and its feeder K-2 schools, Dennis and McIntosh, were all projected by Defendants to have 80% minority enrollment.
The Board's decision to close an additional three Southwest side elementary schools was made despite the fact that the Southwest side schools already lacked needed space. Lack of space on the Southwest side was evidenced by the fact that the District's stated justification for moving, under the January plan, all alternative schools out of the Westside schools was lack of space. Driscoll Dep. at 170. Lack of space on the Southwest side was further evidenced by District staff warnings in early February that even under the January Plan, which closed four Southwest side elementary schools as opposed to seven under the February Plan, the Southwest side schools would lack space. Lyman Memo to Sullivan, 2/3/89, D5940.
The Board's decision to convert West High School to a middle school and to close an additional three Southwest side elementary schools was made with a projected minimal cost savings of $ 336,000. February 14 Plan at 12, B509190. The Board's decision to create a large elementary school at Wilson, however, was made despite the lack of any advanced planning as to the effects of such a huge elementary school.
In the Plan's February 14th version, the RSD had dropped from the language of the Plan the stated justification that neighborhood elementary boundaries would "reduce the need for transportation" and the justification that the new secondary boundaries would "abandon the traditional Eastside-Westside pattern" and "more equitably share the need to be transported among majority and minority students." All of these phrases contained in the January Plan were missing in both versions of the February Plan. Compare B509137 with B509163 and B509184.
The adverse and disproportionate impact of the revised February 14th Reorganization Plan upon the minority community evoked substantial protest from that community. On February 23, 1989, the District received a written objection from the group "Citizens for Educational and Social Equality" (CEASE) to the February Reorganization Plan. D11784. The group presented the District with detailed data showing that the new Plan would place substantial additional mandatory reassignment burdens on Westside students, most of them minority, beyond the substantial disproportionate burdens that already existed. The group's data showed that under the new Plan, at the high school level, there would be a net student movement from West to East of 733 students, compared to a net student movement from East to West of no students. This constituted additional mandatory reassignment in excess of any current West to East busing. Similarly, at the middle school level, the group's figures showed that there would be a net student movement from West to East of 441 students, compared to a net student movement from East to West of no students. Once again, this was in excess of any current West to East busing. CEASE concluded that the Board's February Plan slated the minority students to "bare the brunt of the student disruption." In addition, the group warned the District that the February Plan "exhibits a callous disregard for a large portion of hard-working, tax-paying and voting citizens of the City of Rockford." D11789.
On February 21, 1989, Rockford Mayor John McNamara urged Superintendent Swanson to withdraw the Board's decision to close three additional Southwest side elementary schools and create a large elementary school with a large attendance at Wilson. Mayor McNamara stated that: "[This plan] is contrary, or appears contrary, to the Board's stated policy of neighborhood elementary schools. It is straining the concept of 'neighborhood' to the limit to consider this area, from the River to Meridian Road, the Wilson attendance area, as an expanded neighborhood." McNamara Letter to Swanson, 2/21/89, D11298. The Mayor further stated that, by closing neighborhood schools on the Southwest side, the Plan would negatively impact the minority community in the Southwest Quadrant and would leave the parents of minority students feeling increasingly distrustful of the Rockford school authorities. Finally, Major McNamara wrote that the cost savings of converting West to a middle school with an attendant closing of three additional Southwest side elementary schools was not substantial enough to justify such action.
Following presentation of the February 14th revised reorganization plan, Board member Wham testified that a significant number of minority parents disagreed with the school closing plans for the Southwest side. The parents also objected to creation of the Wilson mega-school. Wham 1989 Dep. at 25. Nevertheless, the Board of Education refused to modify the Plan and reaffirmed the Plan by a 6-1 vote on February 28, 1989. Again, the only minority member of the Board opposed the Plan.
The Deliberative Process In Adopting The 1989 Plan Was Seriously Deficient
Superintendent Sullivan reviewed the 1989 Reorganization Plan. During trial, he expressed his professional opinion that:
a. The Plan was adopted on the basis of an insufficient quantity of data to make decisions of that magnitude.
b. The quality of data was bad. The financial projection was based on unwarranted negative assumptions that overstated the size of the deficit.
c. The demographic projections contained unwarranted assumptions about decreases in student enrollments.
d. For changes of that magnitude, the deliberative process which the District went through was inadequate. For example, the measures were adopted without adequate planning information.
Sullivan Test., Tr. at 3170-80.
In the Board's minutes of its February 14th meeting, it states: "Dr. Swanson said that the selection of the schools to be closed had nothing to do with the quality of educational programs in those schools, but involved primarily location and size." Bd. Min., 2/14/89, B21642; D21129.
Board Member Jo Minor warned the other members of the Board that the Plan would cause resegregation of the schools. Others also made this warning. On December 8, 1988, a report from the elementary school Principals conveyed to Superintendent Swanson the responses of the Elementary School Principals to Swanson's Summary of the 1988 Ad Hoc Committee Report. D0079. In response to the comment in Superintendent Swanson's memorandum to the staff that "assignment of students to schools is made without determining impact on integration requirements," the elementary Principals' responses showed an interesting variation by Quadrant:
a. The response from the Southeast Quadrant was "agreement."
b. The response from the Northwest Quadrant was "integration must be a consideration."
c. The response from the Southwest Quadrant was: "it is unadvisable to assume that political assignments can be made without considering integration."
Id. The warnings, nevertheless, went unheeded.
The Effects Of The Reorganization Plan On the RSD Elementary Schools
The 1989 Reorganization Plan showed a resegregative effect in terms of the enrollment compositions of the individual schools and in terms of the increased percentage of both minority students and majority students assigned to racially-identifiable schools. The RSD adopted measures for individual schools that the District, itself, had identified as constituting de jure segregation. The creation of the so-called "mega schools" resegregated minority students into huge warehouse-type schools. The Plan promised, but did not deliver, educational improvement measures for minority students. The Plan also resegregated the schools by sharply restricting voluntary transfer opportunities. Disproportionate burdens were imposed on Southwest Quadrant minority students by the 1989 school closings. The Plan furthered segregation of the RSD's special education students. Finally, desegregative, non-burdensome alternatives were readily available to the RSD, making the segregative and disproportionate burdens imposed unnecessary. Each of these effects is discussed in detail below.
The Reorganization Plan Resegregated The District's Elementary Schools And Students In Terms Of School Enrollments
The resegregation that the 1989 Reorganization Plan created at the elementary level was evident both in terms of individual schools and systemwide segregation proportions. Since the 1989 Plan never went into effect, its racial impact must be measured from the only available document that projects the effect of the Plan. "School Data 1989-90" was issued by the RSD simultaneously with adoption of the Plan on February 28, 1989. B509149; D8388. The percentage minority data from that document has been converted into African-American-plus-Hispanic data.
Resegregation of Southwest Quadrant Students
Had the Reorganization Plan gone into effect, students in several Southwest Quadrant elementary schools would have experienced massive resegregation. The following table shows the percentage of African-American/Hispanic students in certain schools existing in 1988-89, and compares that percentage to the percentage of African-American/Hispanic students in the school the students would have attended under the Plan.
1988-89 % African-American 1988-89 % Af-Amer/Hispanic
School /Hispanic in 1989 Plan School Change
Dennis 54% 78% 24%
Ellis 60% 79% 19%
King 40% 54% 14%
McIntosh 65% 79% 14%
Stiles 38% 78% 40%
Resegregation of Non-Southwest Schools
Many non-Southwest schools resegregated in the opposite direction with precipitous drops in minority enrollment under the Reorganization Plan. Most of these, shown in boldface, changed into racially-identifiable white schools.
1988-89 % African-American
1988-89 % African-American /Hispanic
School /Hispanic in 1989 Plan School Change
Brookview 13% 4%- 9%
Carlson 17% 6% - 11%
Conklin 49% 11% - 38%
Haight 47% 11% - 36%
Hillman 29% 11% - 18%
Jackson 21% 13% - 8%
Nashold 13% 5% - 8%
Rolling 15% 7% - 8%
Vandercook 22% 6%
Walker 46% 17% - 29%
Westview 26% 17% - 9%
Whitehead 23% 13% - 10%
Systemwide Resegregation of African-American/Hispanic Elementary Students
The resegregation was also apparent in terms of the increased proportion of African-American and Hispanic students who would have attended racially-identifiable, rather than desegregated, elementary schools.
1988-89 % of 1989 Plan % of
Hispanic in: Hispanic in: Change
Racially-identifiable minority 56.8 67.2 .4
Desegregated 38.6 22.5 -16.1
Racially-identifiable white 4.6 10.3 5.7
Sixteen percent of the RSD's African-American/Hispanic elementary students were switched from desegregated to segregated settings under the Reorganization Plan. This was a 26% increase in the number of such students in segregated settings. After the Reorganization Plan, 78% of the African-American/Hispanic elementary students would be in segregated settings.
Systemwide Resegregation of White Elementary Students
Similarly, many more white students would have attended racially-identifiable white schools under the 1989 Plan:
1988-89 1989 Plan
% of White in: % of White in: Change
Racially-identifiable white 41.5 61.8 .3
Desegregated 42.9 27.3 -15.6
Racially-identifiable minority 15.6 10.9 - 4.7
The 1989 Plan changed the educational setting for 20% of the RSD's white elementary students to a racially-identifiable white school. Accordingly, after the Plan, 73% of the RSD's white elementary students were assigned to segregated schools.
The 1989 Plan Resegregated Schools By Adopting Measures That The District Itself Had Identified As Constituting DeJure Segregation
Some of the changes adopted by the RSD in the 1989 Reorganization Plan were previously explicitly identified by the RSD staff as constituting de jure segregation.
De Jure Segregation Criterion in 1981 IBA Report
In 1981, a team of the RSD senior staff members presented the Board with a document entitled "Individual Building Analysis" (hereinafter "IBA"). IBA, B4889 (dated 2/9/81). The objective of the IBA was to evaluate each school building in the District "to determine if additional or alternative sites, other than the eleven indicated by the NIU consultants, should be potential candidates for closing in the 1981-82 school year." IBA at B4890. The staff team evaluated each building in terms of thirteen criteria. One of those criteria was:
De Jure segregation: This factor takes into account whether reassignment of students due to a school closing could have de jure segregation implications, thus limiting the Board's ability to reassign children to the closest school.
The Building Subcommittee Report described the 1981 IBA process and elaborated on the meaning of the de jure segregation criterion by adding a second sentence:
DE JURE SEGREGATION: This factor was rated by taking into account whether closing a school would have de jure segregation implications, thus limiting the Board's ability to reassign children to the closest school. In other words, if a school were closed, and the closure of the school would contribute to the segregation of students by sending them to the closest school, a school might be more difficult to consider for closure, thus would receive a lower rating.
B509082 at B509085. In other words, the RSD recognized in 1981 and again in 1988, that assigning students as a result of school closing in a way that maintained or increased segregation, constituted de jure segregation. The 1981 IBA Report analyzed individual schools. In doing so, the RSD staff identified certain potential actions that met the foregoing criterion and noted other similar actions that would constitute de jure segregation. Each of these is discussed individually below.
In 1981, on the page discussing Church School, the IBA staff team included this statement:
COMMENTS: In approving any boundary changes, the Board would need to avoid action which would result in de jure segregation.
In the 1989 Plan, Church, then 83% African-American/Hispanic, was closed and its students reassigned to the closest remaining school, the Wilson/McIntosh/Dennis complex. The RSD projected that complex to have 80% minority enrollment. February 28 Plan at 5, B509183-B509185; cf. January Plan, B509149; February 14 Plan, B509191. Accordingly, the RSD's action concerning Church School in its 1989 Plan constituted de jure segregation.
In 1981, on the page discussing Dennis School, the IBA staff team included this statement:
COMMENTS: Population: As the boundaries are now established, the area surrounding Dennis School would not support the capacity of the building. A change in boundaries to accommodate strictly a neighborhood population could result in de jure segregation.
Under the 1989 Plan, the boundaries of Dennis School were changed in order to accommodate a strictly neighborhood population. Students from the Dennis neighborhood, previously assigned by satellite zones to Haight and Conklin, were reassigned to Dennis. As a consequence, the minority enrollment at Dennis was projected by the RSD to increase from 55% in the Fall of 1988 to 80% under the Reorganization Plan. February 28 Plan at 5, B509183-B509185; cf. January Plan, B509149; February 14 Plan, B509191. Accordingly, the RSD's action concerning Dennis School in its 1989 Plan constituted de jure segregation.
No comment as to de jure segregation of Stiles School was made in the 1981 IBA report. The school was, however, segregated by the 1989 Reorganization Plan. In the Fall of 1988, Stiles had an enrollment 38% African-American/Hispanic and was a desegregated school. Under the 1989 Plan, Stiles was closed and its students assigned to the Wilson/McIntosh/Dennis complex, projected by the RSD to have 80% minority enrollment. Id. Accordingly, the RSD's action concerning Stiles School in its 1989 Plan constituted de jure segregation.
In 1981, on the page discussing Ellis School, the IBA staff team included this statement:
Use *-- presently a K-3 building.
The 1989 Plan returned Grades 4-6 to the same "neighborhood" assignment as the Ellis Grades K-3 students. Under the Plan, Ellis School was closed and all of its K-6 neighborhood students assigned to the Wilson/McIntosh/Dennis complex, projected by the RSD to be 80% minority. February 28 Plan at 5, B509183-B509185; cf. January Plan, B509149; February 14 Plan, B509191. Previously, the Ellis Grades K-3 students were in a 60% African-American/Hispanic school and the Ellis Grades 4-6 students were assigned to Carlson (17.3% African-American/Hispanic), Jackson (20.9% African-American/Hispanic), Stiles (38.1% African-American/Hispanic), Westview (25.6% African-American/Hispanic), and Welsh (15.7% African-American/Hispanic). D0046. Accordingly, the RSD's action concerning Ellis School in its 1989 Plan constituted de jure segregation.
The minority enrollment at McIntosh was projected to go from 65% in the Fall of 1988 to 80% minority under the 1989 Plan. February 28 Plan at 5, B509183-B509185; cf. January Plan, B509149; February 14 Plan, B509191. This was the consequence of all students from the Church School closing, and a portion of the students from the Ellis School closing, being assigned to McIntosh. Id.
The New Wilson Elementary School
Under the 1989 Plan, a new Grades 3-6 elementary school was created at Wilson, with a projected minority enrollment of 80%. Id. This was the consequence of:
a. The actions described above that resegregated Dennis, Ellis and Stiles;
b. The closing of Church, Ellis and Stiles; and
c. The assignment of all Grades 3-6 students from Church, Ellis, Dennis and Stiles to the Wilson building.
Based upon the criteria set forth in the 1981 IBA report, the RSD's Plan in this regard constituted an act of de jure segregation.
In 1981, on the page discussing King School, the IBA staff team stated:
COMMENTS: Any future reassignment of students from that neighborhood would have to avoid de jure segregation.
IBA, B4920. While no similar statement was included on the Barbour page, (B4893), King and Barbour were situated within a few blocks of one another in the same neighborhood and, as such, the same comment would apply to both schools.
Prior to the 1989 reorganization plan, 222 students from the Barbour neighborhood in Grades 4-6 were assigned to five Eastside elementary schools. B509110. Barbour, through the presence of alternative programs including GIT, enrolled in the Fall of 1988, 60% African-American/Hispanic students. Under the 1989 Plan, Barbour School was closed and all of its K-6 neighborhood students were assigned to the King/Washington complex. The GIT program was removed from the Southwest Quadrant and assigned to Southeast schools. February 28 Plan at 4, 6-7, B509182-B509185; B509149. The projected minority composition of the King/Washington complex was approximately 56% African-American/Hispanic.
The purported level of total-building white enrollment in the King/Washington complex was derived from the presence of the Centralized Gifted program. The Gifted program existed in a totally separate, segregated environment within the buildings it was assigned. Accordingly, King and Barbour neighborhood students were actually assigned to a neighborhood program at the King/Washington complex that would be approximately 80% African-American/Hispanic, while the Gifted program was only 2.3% African-American and 1.0% Hispanic in the Fall of 1988. D10770.
In 1981, on the page discussing Haskell School, the IBA staff team stated:
In 1980, a portion of the Haskell attendance area west of Kilburn Avenue was transferred to an Eastside school for two purposes: to desegregate the Eastside school and to open space at Haskell for a full-site Focus Center called the Four-R program. Subsequently, when the Focus Center at Haskell was discontinued, a partial-site alternative program, CASS, was placed at Haskell. B46298.
Under the 1989 Reorganization Plan, the area between Kilburn Street and Kent Creek, the satellite zone assigned to Eastside schools, was reassigned to the Haskell attendance area. Plan Attendance Map, B509095 (D4446). As a consequence, the students in the Kilburn-Kent Creek area were reassigned by the RSD from a desegregated school to a segregated African-American/Hispanic school. Accordingly, the RSD's action concerning Haskell School in its 1989 Plan constituted de jure segregation.
Garrison School received no "de jure segregation" comment in the 1981 IBA report. Under the 1989 Plan, Garrison was closed and its attendance area partitioned. Most of the attendance area was assigned to Walker, which under the 1989 Plan was projected to have a 17% minority enrollment. The western portion of the Garrison attendance area was assigned to Haskell School. Compare Plan Attendance Map, B509095 with Fall 1988 Attendance Map, B509088. This western portion was adjacent to the Kilburn-Kent Creek satellite zone, which was also reassigned by the 1989 Plan to Haskell School.
Resegregation of Non-Southwest White Schools
The 1989 Reorganization Plan turned many non-Southwest schools into resegregated racially-identifiable white schools by two separate actions:
a. Removing from many non-Southwest schools the African-American and Hispanic students who had previously been assigned to them.
b. Closing certain non-Southwest schools and reassigning their predominantly white enrollments to the closest schools, which were also predominantly white.
The 1981 IBA report stated that it would be an act of de jure segregation to reassign students from a school closing to the closest school, if that action maintained or increased segregation. While the RSD staff only examined the de jure segregation consequences for African-American/Hispanic schools and neighborhoods, the criteria used was equally applicable to white schools and neighborhoods. B29810 (second page of IBA Report, B4890 (omitted in original discovery)).
Under the 1989 Plan, Haight School was closed and its white students were assigned to Conklin. Haight's African-American/Hispanic students assigned were assigned to Dennis/Wilson. Riverdahl School (5% African-American/Hispanic) was closed and a portion of its students were assigned to Froberg/New Milford, projected by the RSD to be approximately 5% minority. Hallstrom School (2% African-American/Hispanic in the Fall of 1988) was closed and its students were assigned to Nelson and Whitehead, projected by the RSD to be 16% and 15% minority, respectively. Vandercook School was closed and its neighborhood students were assigned to Hillman (projected 15% minority) and to White Swan/Cherry Valley (projected approximately 5% minority). As such, under the 1989 Reorganization Plan, measures were adopted that contained significant resegregative impacts upon most of the elementary schools in the RSD. The measures violated the criterion of de jure segregation established in the 1981 IBA report and re-articulated by the RSD's 1988 Citizens' Building Subcommittee report.
The 1989 Plan Resegregated African-American/Hispanic Students By Placing Them In Huge Warehouse Schools, Without Promised Educational Support
Both Wilson and Washington were to be elementary schools placed in former middle school buildings, which enabled them to have this unprecedented size. McIntosh was also projected by the Plan to have 649 students, more than 100 students above the size of the largest white elementary school, Spring Creek.
The Plan placed more than 1800 African-American/Hispanic elementary students in one highly segregated complex of schools. The students constituted half of all the African-American and Hispanic elementary students in the RSD. Id.
The Wilson complex was commonly referred to as the "mega-school." The mega-school's boundary extended from the Rock River on the east to Meridian Road on the west, spanning the entire Westside. On the other axis, it ran from Montague Street on the south to north of Auburn Street. Plan Attendance Map, B509094. Superintendent Sullivan, who took office after the 1989 Plan had been adopted, expressed his opinion that the mega-school concept at both Wilson and Washington was unwise because the schools were too large. In his view, the concentration of such large numbers of low-income minority students would have had negative educational effects on the students. Sullivan Test., Tr. at 3181. The same concern had previously been raised by the sole minority member of the Board, Michael Williams, but was not addressed by the Board or staff. Williams Test., Tr. at 2381.
Superintendent Bill Bowen testified that he began having reservations the longer he considered the proposed "mega-school" portion of the Reorganization Plan. "The idea that the other schools were closing, early on that didn't have as much significance, and what those individual schools meant to people. And to take all those children and put them in one huge facility, it really -- and a great number of those would be African-American children. And that concentration didn't look right, start to feel right." Bowen Test., Tr. at 3370. Bowen further stated, "It started to look like a ghetto." Id.
The 1989 Plan's elementary reassignment measures were initially undertaken partly to reduce the need for transportation. The February Plan, however, required extensive transportation within the large "neighborhood" proposed for minority students. As such, in the February 1989 version of the Plan, the phrase "reduce the need for transportation" was deleted by the RSD.
The Wilson mega-school was created by the RSD with little advanced planning as to the educational or social consequences of a 1227 student elementary building or a 2300 student school complex. When asked in discovery in May of 1989 to produce documents concerning advanced planning for the mega-school concept, the RSD produced one memorandum dated February 22, 1989, describing telephone interviews conducted by RSD staff with the Principals of two large elementary schools, one in Belvidere (850 students) and one in Maple Park (1034 students). D5941; D5942. When asked for documentation as to the development and implementation of any special educational program in the mega-schools, the RSD produced only three staff memos, totalling five pages. D5947-48, D5949, D5966. The memos show that as late as June 1989, four months after the mega-schools were established, no educational plan dealing with elementary schools made up of 1227 students and 876 racially-concentrated, low-income elementary students existed.
The 1989 Plan Segregated The Schools By Promising, But Not Delivering, Educational Improvement Measures For African-American/Hispanic Students
The first provision of the 1989 Reorganization Plan promised extensive supplemental educational benefits to the newly resegregated African-American/Hispanic elementary schools. Paragraph 1.1 of the January Plan stated:
In elementary schools with a high incidence of educationally and economically disadvantaged students, use regular budget and government funds (Chapters 1 and 2) to provide supplemental support staff and smaller class sizes and to offset the inequities created by gifts from parent organizations.
Early correction of learning deficits will help students experience academic achievement, progress through school at a normal rate and avoid some of the common causes of leaving school prior to graduation. The provision of supplemental materials and human resources ought not be dependent on the economic status of a school's constituency.
Soon after assuming his position as Interim Superintendent, Superintendent Swanson became aware that "there was some discrepancy in the resources provided mainly due to the fact that some areas which have higher economic -- parents of higher economic status were able to provide things for their schools that were not available to all schools in the district." Swanson Dep. at 32-33. No district policy on equalization of resources existed at the time. Id. at 34. According to Superintendent Swanson, the intent of the Reorganization Plan was to "particularly provide the human resources, additional human resources, that [disadvantaged] people needed in terms of support personnel. . . . The hope was to distribute resources in with an extra emphasis on low-income schools." Id. at 39.
Not one of the three versions of the 1989 Plan, however, contained any budget allocation to carry out this provision. No specification of schools or program definitions in support of this proposal were provided. See January Plan, B509142; February 14 Plan, B509169; and February 28 Plan, B509190. The lack of such a budget was in contrast to other initiatives undertaken in the Plan. For example, the Dropout Implementation Committee was provided a budget of $ 75,000 for its initiating recommendations.
Superintendent Swanson admitted that no decision had been made to allocate any specific amount of funding for paragraph 1.1. programs. Swanson Dep. at 43. The only budget item discussed was a $ 500,000 allocation to schools with disadvantaged students. No specific distribution or implementation plan existed, however, with regard to the expenditure of these funds, being discussed only in general terms. Id. at 45. Similarly, Board member Gage testified that he had seen no proposal that an additional expenditure of funds be made for schools in low achieving areas. Gage Dep. at 73. No discussion between board members was held about providing a specific amount of money to balance inequities. Id. at 76-77.
The Plan also did not provide supplemental educational benefits to the newly resegregated minority elementary schools. Superintendent Sullivan testified that, in his opinion, the Plan would have had a particularly harmful effect on the RSD's provision of supplementary educational programs such as Art, Music, and Chapter I programs to minority students.
A fundamental characteristic of a non-segregated school system is a voluntary transfer program, the opportunity for any student to elect to attend any other school in the system if the transfer promotes desegregation and space is available. The 1989 Plan adopted a restrictive voluntary transfer policy, limiting the number of white schools to which minority students could transfer. Minority students were allowed to transfer to only five of the twenty-two elementary schools with white enrollment percentages above the system-wide elementary average. This was true even though fifteen of those schools had more than 82% white enrollment and most of them had available space. The RSD established no voluntary transfer program for white students to transfer to minority schools. Reorganization Plan (final version), B509187; School Data 1989-90, B509149; see also, Turrentine Memos, 3/16/89, D8012; 3/17/89, B502492; Swanson Memo, 6/1/89, B503809; RSD Press Release, 4/14/89, B509171; Lyman List of Available Classrooms, 4/4/89, D1108.
In the Reorganization Plan as adopted on February 28, 1989, the RSD issued the following voluntary transfer policy:
Allow minority students to transfer from schools having minority populations exceeding 50% to schools designated by the District. Allow majority students to transfer from schools having majority populations of more than 50% to schools designated by the District.
Transportation Director Patricia Turrentine sent a memo, dated March 16, 1989, initially establishing the list of schools to receive minority desegregation transfers as follows:
White Swan (K-3)/Cherry Valley (4/6)
The Turrentine memo of March 17, 1989, then modified the list of receiving schools to the following four schools:
White Swan (K-3)/Cherry Valley (4-6)
Carlson and Hillman were eliminated as receiving schools by the March 17th memo, but those schools did have available classrooms for 1989-90. According to the list of April 4, 1989, prepared by Barbara Lyman, Director of Elementary Education, Carlson had three and Hillman had two available rooms. Carlson was a Northeast Quadrant school that was projected by the District at that time to have 92% white enrollment in the Fall of 1989. Hillman was a Southeast Quadrant school that was projected at that time to have 85% white enrollment in the Fall of 1989-90. School Data 1989-90, B509149.
Ultimately, the transfer policy publicly announced by the District on April 14, 1989, was as follows: Minority students from the King/Washington complex could transfer to White Swan/Cherry Valley or Rolling Green; minority students from the Dennis/McIntosh/Wilson complex could transfer to Rolling Green, Westview or White Swan/Cherry Valley; and minority students from Haskell could transfer to Brookview. The desegragation transfer system thus ...