HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The Department of Justice has filed a motion opposing the Huntsville City Schools rezoning plan laid out at a school board meeting earlier this month.
The filing claims Huntsville’s rezoning plan “does not integrate the Huntsville City
Schools to the extent practicable, as the District asserts in its motion.” The Department of Justice goes on to claim that the plan further cements the boundaries between many of the identifiable black and white schools, along with corresponding barriers to equal educational opportunities.
Though the proposed plan would make sweeping changes to Huntsville’s zoning boundaries, that alone isn’t good enough, the Department of Justice claims.
On Thursday Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Casey Wardynski responded to the Department of Justice’s plan. The district presented a slideshow response that we have included in a photo gallery below.
“Yet despite these large-scale changes, the District’s Plan would leave most students in segregated schools and, in some cases, assign them to even more segregated educational environments. Further, students at schools identifiable as black schools would continue to lack equitable access to the array of advanced courses and science/technology programs available at schools identifiable as white,” the filing says.
The Department of Justice listed three primary reasons why it opposes Huntsville’s plan:
- The closure of Butler and reassignment of its students will place students in highly segregated educational environments.
- The District’s Plan leaves a racially identifiable white school under capacity, despite the closure of a racially identifiable black school and the likely overcrowding of another contiguously zoned racially identifiable black school.
- The District Plan does not anticipate or allow room to develop viable magnet programs capable of attracting a desegregated enrollment at its racially identifiable black high schools.
The Department of Justice will hold a conference to gather more information about the methods and data gathered by Huntsville City Schools in order to submit a new plan for rezoning.