Document Type


Publication Title

South Carolina Law Review

Publication Date

Winter 2022



Page Number



Fourteenth Amendment, Plessy, equal protection, school segregation


Education Law | Fourteenth Amendment | Law


Public education in the U.S. is arguably more racially segregated now than it was in 1954, when the U.S. Supreme Court declared in Brown v. Board of Education "that in the field of public education the doctrine of separate but equal' has no place." Although scholars may differ in the extent they believe that racial integration might be necessary for educational equality, most agree that educational segregation, whether imposed by law, socioeconomics, or happenstance, is not likely to reverse in any meaningful way in the near future.

In the absence of a recognized federal right to education, federal-court- supervised school desegregation has been, perhaps, the most viable vehicle for students of color to access educational opportunities enjoyed by white students. This phenomenon remains salient, almost to the point of truism, but not because of any inherent or behavioral differences among students by race or because of any benefits proximity to whiteness affords students of color. Rather, the desegregation remedy is primarily a function of intractable political and socioeconomic realities that enable educational opportunity hoarding by wealthier and whiter stakeholders at the expense of poorer Black stakeholders and stakeholders of color."



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