Vanderbilt Law Review


David B. King

First Page



Eleven years after the decision of the Supreme Court in the School Segregation Cases, white and Negro children remain separated in many school systems throughout the nation. In the South this racial separation has been persistently fostered by both school and public officials. Since the rationale of the School Segregation Cases to the effect that official policy requiring separation on the basis of race is prohibited, this racial separation in the South, commonly known as segregation, is clearly illegal. Separation of the races in the school systems of the North and West has resulted both from devious types of racially motivated action by public educational authorities and from fortuitously created racial concentrations. Primarily a northern problem, this fortuitous racial separation in the public schools has been popularly termed "defacto segregation." A more accurate designation of this situation is"racial imbalance." Racial imbalance in the public schools results most commonly where neighborhood attendance policies are super-imposed on the homogenous racial populations of the large Northern cities...

The validity of voluntary action taken by public educational authorities has been more consistently upheld. The New Jersey Courts have held unqualifiedly that school boards may act to racially balance the schools by the use of racial criteria in zoning. The New York courts have reached essentially the same result although purporting to adhere to the qualification that the method used to secure racial imbalance is otherwise lawful and reasonable.