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Federal Oversight, Local Control, and the Specter of "Resegregation" in Southern Schools

  • Charles T. Clotfelter
  • Jacob L. Vigdor
  • Helen F. Ladd

Analyzing data for the 100 largest districts in the South and Border states, we ask whether there is evidence of "resegregation" of school districts and whether levels of segregation can be linked to judicial decisions. We distinguish segregation measures based on racial isolation from those based on racial imbalance. Only one measure of racial isolation suggests that districts in these regions experienced resegregation between 1994 and 2004, and changes in this measure appear to be driven largely by the rising nonwhite percentage in the student population rather than by district policies. Although we find no time trend in racial imbalance over this period, we find that variations in racial imbalance across districts are nonetheless associated with judicial declarations of unitary status, suggesting that segregation in schools might have declined had it not been for the actions of federal courts. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal American Law and Economics Review.

Volume (Year): 8 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 347-389

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Handle: RePEc:oup:amlawe:v:8:y:2006:i:2:p:347-389
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  1. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1999. "Public School Segregation in Metropolitan Areas," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(4), pages 487-504.
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