In the most sweeping integration order ever issued against a big school system outside the South, Los Angeles was ordered to integrate its 622 schools with 674,000 students, starting next September. To achieve full integration, elementary and secondary schools in neighboring Pasadena were lumped into four “corridors,” with busing of students planned up to ten miles within each zone. School officials said the busing could cost $1 million a year.
These actions illustrate a new dimension to the intensifying national school crisis. They reveal problems in the North that school districts in the South have been facing for years.
In a number of cities—notably in the South—a strategy used to subvert integration of public schools is the opening of nonsectarian “private” schools. While few of these schools overtly admit it, most become all-white havens for desegregation dodgers.
In the Jackson, Mississippi, area, for instance, the White Citizens Councils of America, a white-supremacy group, estimates nearly 3,000 new students were enrolled in its private schools during the first six weeks of this year. Similar reports come from Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.
Responsible Christian bodies and associations of Christian schools, though, appear to be heavily opposed to racially segregated private schools.
Dr. John F. Blanchard, Jr., executive director of the National Association of Christian Schools (affiliated with the National Association of Evangelicals), spoke in an interview about the association’s 300 member schools. “We will not accept a school whose literature says it is for white children only,” he said. He estimates that two-thirds to four-fifths of the NACS schools (with a total enrollment of 53,000) have at least token integration. ...1
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