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their schools, as required by law.” 124 Token desegregation in the two preceding school years, rather than the failure to execute an already courtapproved plan, impressed the court. The opinion gives no reason, if any was presented, for failure to carry out the previously approved plan. The court specified no time limit on the unlawful practices. It appears to have ignored the fact that the second Brown decision indicates that once a start has been made, the burden is on the school board to show what additional time, if any, is necessary to carry the plan out. If courts require no proof, and rely upon the good faith of a board which has a history of discrimination, it seems doubtful that desegregation will proceed promptly.
The same court read a gradual time schedule into a desegregation plan in the case of Hill v. School Board of Norfolk.130 Affirming the district court's decision, which condoned racial assignments to the first grade,
it said: 181
So far as appears, the school board did not announce in advance a plan for gradual, progressive desegregation of grades beginning with high schools and proceeding progressively to the lower grades. It appears, however, from what the board has done that it means to proceed upon the basis of a plan of progressively opening the grades
a beginning with the higher grades and proceeding toward the lower grades. Under this procedure, in due course, the plan will reach the first grade and the existing discrimination in the enrollment of first grade pupils will be eliminated. It is our understanding that such discriminatory practices have already been eliminated for those being promoted from one school to another, and the plan, in time, will remove the remainder of the proscribed practices.
Again, no proof was required to establish the necessity for delay, and no deadline for ultimate, full compliance was set.
Under such circumstances it does not seem to be established that the board is moving toward full compliance with all deliberate speed.
Consideration of race during transition
It is implicit in every plan for gradual desegregation that during a transition period racial assignments are not completely banned, if a reasonably limited transition period is first established. In Dove v. Parham, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals said: 182
Where a board has adopted a definitive plan of effecting desegregation by reasonable transitional steps, the racial question necessarily is geared to the scope of those steps. But only in that sense and within that need, we think, is there basis to say that consideration in assigning students may be given to race. The board
may in such a situation find it necessary to make selection between Negro students, and it will be entitled to do so on proper judgment as to what will best serve to accomplish its program.
The court's meaning is not entirely clear. It may be that racial considerations must be excluded from everything except the unexecuted portion of the plan or full compliance cannot be reached. This would mean that race is geared to the scope of the step taken. Thus, in the Dallas case the Fifth Circuit required deletion of the racial transfer provision that was tied to the desegregation of each successive grade. The fact that race is the basis of assignment in the grades not yet desegregated is accepted without question in all plans calling for gradual implementation.
It was pointed out earlier that the decision in the Dallas case seems sound because the transfer provision, which the court disapproved, would have precluded any possibility of full compliance at the end of 12 years. However, if the plan had called for the elimination of the transfer provision at the end of 12 years, it might have been sustained as an interim measure even though it would necessarily extend the transition period from 12 to 18 or 20 years, depending upon the number of grades in the elementary school. Only in the second period, after the transfer provision based on race had been eliminated, could full compliance be reached. The elimination of the transfer provision would be effective for ist, 7th, and oth (or 8th) grade pupils in the 13th year, and would gradually encompass all grades as they moved up through the elementary and secondary schools. At the end of the period, pupils in all grades would have been assigned by residence only. Thus, the first 12 years would have been merely preliminary. It is not suggested that any court would or should approve an 18- or 20-year plan. The hypothesis is presented for the purpose of illustrating the significance of completely eliminating racial factors in the final steps leading toward full compliance.
4. Desegregation in the South
By May 1959, 733 out of a total of 2,839 biracial school districts in the 17 Southern States (25.8 percent) were desegregated in some degree. In the next 2 years 44 additional districts initiated desegregation for the first time and 2 desegregated districts in each of 2 States merged. Thus, at the close of the 1960-61 school year, 775 out of 2,837 biracial Southern school districts, or 27.3 percent, were desegregated at least in part-an increase of only 1.5 percent.
The 44 school districts that initiated desegregation in 1959–61 include 31 that voluntarily admitted Negroes to formerly all-white school and 13 that did so under Federal court order. Two States that had been completely segregated, Florida and Louisiana, were added during this period to those having some school desegregation. In the former, one district voluntarily desegregated; ? in the latter, one desegregated under Federal court order. Four Southern States remained completely segregated on the elementary and secondary level in 1959-61, and three of these have no public educational institutions at any level attended by members of both races. Appendix IV, table 1, shows the breakdown by States."
This chapter will consider significant developments in the States that initiated, and those that expanded, their desegregation programs in 1959–61. Special mention will be made of the desegregation of schools attended predominantly, or exclusively, by dependents of United States military personnel. The remainder of the chapter will be devoted to a summary of the official attitudes of those States in which there is no school desegregation. Prospects for the future will be indicated.
INITIAL DESEGREGATION 1959-61
Dade County is located at the southern tip of Florida. It is a metropolitan community with a population of about 900,000 people, approx
imately 16 percent of whom are Negro; • its principal city is Miami. Dade County was the first and is still the only one of Florida's 67 districts to operate schools attended by Negroes and whites. It began desegregation voluntarily in September 1959 at schools located in Miami and Naranja. At that time, however, a suit seeking desegregation was pending in a Federal court.
Orchard Villa Elementary School is located in a Miami neighborhood that changed from predominantly white to predominantly Negro in a 3-year period. In September 1958 the Dade County Board of Public Instruction received a number of applications from Negro pupils for assignment to Orchard Villa. Four of the applicants appeared for a hearing before the board late in September 1958. Their requests were denied.?
The school board, however, initiated a survey of the community around Orchard Villa in October 1958 and found that most white residents planned to move regardless of the possibility of school desegregation. Interviews indicated that a majority of the teachers and staff would not stay if more than four Negro pupils were admitted.
On the basis of this study the board unanimously approved the assignment of the four Negro applicants to Orchard Villa on February 18, 1959. When the school opened in September, only 18 pupils enrolled (14 white and 4 Negro). It operated on that basis until October 12,
4 1959, when 150 Negro children who had applied for transfer during the summer were admitted. Some 300 additional Negroes from nearby overcrowded schools were also assigned to the school. At the end of the 1959–60 school year, only 5 whites still attended with about 450 Negroes.
When Orchard Villa opened in September 1960, I white child remained with some 802 Negro children. Two weeks later the Negro enrollment had increased to more than 1,000 and the parents of the I remaining white pupil moved to another neighborhood and removed their child from the school.10 Thus, within a period of 1 year the segregated school for white students had desegregated and then become a “segregated” school for Negroes.
The second school in Dade County to desegregate during the 1959-60 school year was Air Base Elementary School, adjacent to Homestead Air Force Base in Naranja, Fla." The school opened for the first time in September 1959, with 17 Negro and 764 white pupils—all children of airbase personnel. Federal funds for the construction of this school were obtained under Public Law 815 12 due to the influx of “unhoused” pupils occasioned by Federal activities. The school, however, is located on county-owned property and is under the exclusive control of the county board. It is open to all children living in the school attendance zone and has continued to operate without incidents attributable to its biracial