/Cleveland defends its desegregation plan

Cleveland defends its desegregation plan

With the support of Superintendent Jacquelyn Thingpen, the school board recently proposed a plan to house all 6th-8th graders as well as 11th and 12th grades at facilities located on the predominantly white west end of town. The East Side High campus would house the ninth and 10th grades. This is a predominantly black area in Cleveland. According to a Dec. 19 filing, the District stated that the Unified High School Plan was designed to address specific concerns of the East Side community about East Side High’s history and the importance maintaining a facility offering substantial programming in that area. After the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the plan, the private plaintiffs in that long-running case also filed a filing. Both sides argued that May’s court-ordered plan is better. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Cleveland schools plan failed to equitably balance both the benefits and burdens of desegregation in the community. It was also less feasible and more educationally unsound than the Court’s Adopted Plan. This letter was sent to Judge Debra Brown at the U.S. District Court. Lawyers for the district claim that “mandatory reassignment has already failed” and has caused a tremendous loss of white students over a period of twenty years. This is a fact that the district court did not address and which the Plaintiff-Parties also failed to address. “The testimony regarding the probable white flight in the District as a result of the mandatory reassignment plan by the district court is not speculative. It is based on historical evidence from the district.” The current district population is 68 percent African American and 27 percent white. According to court documents, a hearing on Brown’s latest proposal for the district is scheduled for January.