Is busing to integrate school still necessary?
July 14, 1998
in this forum:
Shouldn't qualified teachers at all schools end the busing debate? Does busing solve inequities or promote resentment? Can people in racially separated areas still work in a diverse envrionment? Should schools and students be placed in schools according to merit instead of racial background? Does busing allow kids of different races to learn to work together?
June 30, 1998:
Betty Anne Bowser examines the Charlotte busing controversy.
September 25, 1997:
A look back at school integration in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957.
Browse the NewsHour's coverage of education and race relations .
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district's homepage.
Nearly three decades after Charlotte, NC instituted the first court-ordered busing plan in the nation, a new lawsuit has sparked a debate over the future of the system.
Should the court rule that different races have equal access to education, the city's busing system could become a thing of the past.
In 1971 the U.S. Supreme Court ordered Charlotte to bus some black students to predominantly white schools and white students to predominantly black schools. The justices argued that busing would ensure an integrated school system.
Many, including school board president Arthur Griffin, argue that the court-ordered busing is the only way to ensure an integrated school system. He told the NewsHour he is concerned that ending the busing program would lead to a re-segregated school system.
"It goes beyond the fact that this is more than just academics…it gets down to a black/white issue," Griffin said on the NewsHour. "I think what people are doing today is forgetting our history and sort of coming out of the game to say that we can be separate and equal."
Others in the Charlotte say taking children away from their neighborhoods removes parents from the education process.
"Busing is literally tearing families up," parent Richard Gray told the Charlotte Observer. "If you take the school out of the community, you take the community out of the school."