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Letter: White students can’t transfer out of failing school


Rayville Elementary School in Louisiana received a failing grade this year, based on the state’s School Performance Scores. Under the state’s Public School Choice policy, eligible students in schools flagged as failing and in need of certain levels of improvement can transfer to an “academically acceptable school,” the Huffington Post reports. But an interesting and controversial issue has arisen that may actually challenge equal opportunity intended by the law. In a letter to parents dated July 25, Rayville Elementary school officials inform families of the school’s “F” grade and list two other institutions — with letter grades C- and B — that the parents can choose to transfer their children to. But there’s a disclaimer:

“Please note that white students at Rayville Elementary School will not be allowed to transfer to the listed schools due to the present provisions issued in the federal Richland Parish School desegregation case.”

The case in question refers to a 1968 court decision that, in an effort to maintain desegregated schools, prohibits white students from leaving schools if their departure could cause the school to be considered “all-Negro.”

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