Davis v. Board of Sch. Comm'rs of Mobile County
402 U.S. 33 (1971)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Davis v. Board of Sch. Comm'rs of Mobile County, 402 U.S. 33 (1971)

Davis v. Board of School Commissioners of Mobile County

No. 436

Argued October 13-14, 1970

Decided April 20, 1971

402 U.S. 33

Syllabus

East of the major highway that divides the metropolitan area of Mobile, Ala., live 94% of the area's Negro students, and the schools there are 65% Negro and 35% white. West of the highway, the schools are 12% Negro and 88% white. The Court of Appeals approved a desegregation plan which, like the District Court's plan, insofar as those areas were concerned, treated the western section as isolated from the eastern, with unified geographic zones and providing no transportation of students for desegregation purposes. Though some reduction in the number of all-Negro schools was achieved for the 1970-1971 school year, nine elementary schools in the eastern section (attended by 64% of all Negro elementary school pupils in the metropolitan area) were over 90% Negro, and over half of the Negro junior and senior high school students went to all-Negro or nearly all-Negro schools. With regard to the faculty and staff ratio in each of Mobile County's schools, the Court of Appeals directed the District Court to require the school board to establish "substantially the same" ratio as that, for the whole district.

Held:

1. The Court of Appeals decision dealing with the faculty and staff ratio is affirmed. Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, ante, p. 402 U. S. 1, at 402 U. S. 19-20. P. 402 U. S. 35.

2. The Court of Appeals erred in treating the eastern part of metropolitan Mobile in isolation from the rest of the school system, and in not adequately considering the possible use of all available techniques to achieve the maximum amount of practicable desegregation. P. 402 U. S. 38.

430 F.2d 883 and 889, affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part.

BURGER, C.J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.

Page 402 U. S. 34

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