Altering Grade Configurations in Virginia Schools: Reducing School Segregation Without Necessarily Considering Race in Light of The Parents Involved Ruling

BY William J. Glenn

This Article proposes a method by which school districts can voluntarily desegregate their schools while remaining within the constitutional guidelines set forth in the recent Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 Supreme Court opinion. This Article suggests that schools reconfigure grades as an alternative to the more explicit race-based measures struck down in Parents Involved. Grade reconfiguration entails reconstituting elementary schools, for instance, into primary and upper elementary schools. The reconfigured schools can serve the same number of students as a traditional school, but in a smaller grade span, meaning that such schools can have larger attendance zones. Moreover, districts can strategically select the attendance zones in order to combat the effects of residential segregation on school segregation.

This Article models grade reconfiguration in several Virginia school districts to show the reduction in segregation that would be possible through grade reconfiguration. The models show that grade reconfiguration can eliminate segregation in small school districts and reduce it considerably in larger districts. The Article also illustrates that the technique could also be used as part of an interdistrict desegregation plan.

DOWNLOAD PDF | 88 N.C. L. Rev. 1091 (2010)

Warning: Unknown: open(/home/content/83/7305283/tmp/sess_2ogegvi4m33e54d63t422ev402, O_RDWR) failed: No such file or directory (2) in Unknown on line 0

Warning: Unknown: Failed to write session data (files). Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct () in Unknown on line 0