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27 J.L. & Educ. 155 (1998)
Getting off the Bus: Why Many Black Parents Oppose Busing

handle is hein.journals/jle27 and id is 165 raw text is: Getting Off The Bus: Why Many Black Parents Oppose
Busing
Introduction
Busing has historically been an important tool in the struggle to desegregate
American schools. Because nearly all U.S. metropolitan areas are divided geo-
graphically by race, many school districts (some under federal court order)
have attempted to reduce racial segregation by busing students from one
neighborhood to another.
Many African-American parents are frustrated with busing. Some say that
busing harms their children by communicating a message of racial inferiority.
Others say that busing is too expensive and, thus, wasteful of scarce educa-
tional resources. Still others question why desegregation is such a high priority
anyway, especially in light of allegations by some that black students do not
show academic improvement in more racially diverse schools. 1
While it is important to acknowledge that no one opinion or set of values
can reflect the thoughts and feelings of a whole group of people, it is equally
important to recognize the importance and implications of the increasingly vo-
cal anti-busing sentiment among some African-Americans. This Chalk Talk
will focus on black parents' views on busing in particular, because their chil-
dren are in the specific group which busing is intended to benefit. Black fami-
lies are affected the most because the children who are bused to schools in
other neighborhoods are predominantly black.
In order to discuss busing and related issues, it is necessary to first define a
few terms. Schools are usually considered segregated where there is a wide
disparity in the percentages of white and black students between schools
within the same district. Some school districts include races other than black
and white in their definition of segregation, but others focus only on those two
races because of the historical antagonism between them. Desegregation is a
deliberate attempt by a school district to balance the racial mix at each school
such that there is no school in the district with a percentage of white or black
students so high that it could be considered segregated. Busing refers to a
local program in which some students are forced to go to schools outside of
their neighborhoods for the purpose of racial desegregation.
I. See Deseg in Prince George's County: Hurting Black Children? DAILY REPORT CARD, Nov. 1,
1995.

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