This bill based the Omaha legislatures and was signed into law. This is being decried as a return to state sponsored segregation. In fact the Nebraska attorney general, Jon Bruning, sent a letter to one of the bill's opponents saying that this law might be unconstitutional (equal protection clause) and that lawsuits are certain to be filed.
The plan would not be implemented until July 2008 leaving some time for legislators to find an alternative plan. One supporter of this legislation had this to say about this plan...
"There is no intent to create segregation," said Omaha state Sen. Ernie Chambers, the Legislature's only black senator and a longtime critic of the school system.Is this a failure of this idea of integration? Has integration failed to produce the results that were expected? Should parents have control over the school system?
He argues that the district is already segregated because it no longer buses students for integration purposes, instead requiring them to attend their neighborhood schools.
Chambers said the schools attended largely by minorities lacked the resources and quality teachers provided other schools in the district. He said the black students among his north Omaha constituency would receive a better education if they had more control over their school district.
There are a lot of issues here. The argument for integration of the schools is that blacks or minorities have often been shut out of having the best possible facilities and perhaps the best possible education. This was an attempt to adress inequalities.
I want to go to something Rush mentioned on his program...
You know, I also remember, I've had a couple -- well, a lot more than that -- I've had a lot of discussions with Dr. Sowell, Dr. Thomas Sowell who is also black and he grew up in Harlem and a lot of other places. I'll never forget one time he told me that when he grew up in Harlem before Harlem became what it is today, he said it was black, but you had black professionals, including teachers, and they were educated. They had values. They were all oriented around the church. The culture was intact, it was superb, and they held their own in academic contests with kids from white schools around New York and so forth, and once the integration came along, all that just disintegrated for some reason, and apparently what's happening is that they've finally owned up to the problem in Omaha, and so they're going to go back and try to fix it by turning back the hands of time.I'm taking Constitutional Law right now. We were studying the Supreme Court's decisions on racial discrimination. We had a lively discussion on students reaction to school desegregation. My professor mentioned that in another semester in Con-Law had this argument about doing the best with what they had versus going where the education might be considered the best (best facilities, teachers, etc).
This is definitely a tough issue to be sure. We especially have to think about issues of funding for education and that kind of stuff. There are definitely no easy answers are there.
Nebraska Votes to Divide Schools from LA Times