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having only a few Negro pupils have voted to admit them to the white schools in September 1961.178
Initial desegregation is expected in the fall of 1961 in Knox and Washington Counties, Elizabethton, Kingsport, and Johnson City, all of which have announced grade-a-year plans.178 At the behest of the Federal district court, Knoxville has announced that Negro high school pupils will be admitted to a white high school for vocational and technical courses not offered at the Negro schools. 180
The Volusia County School Board has granted the application for reassignment of two Negro girls to a previously all-white school and denied a third. These were the first applications under the Florida pupil assignment law of 1956.
Another Orchard Villa situation 182 is expected in Dade County. A change in school zoning has placed 200 Negro families in the area of a white school. White parents in the neighborhood have been notified that their children may apply for transfer.183
In response to the order of the United States Court of Appeals, the Little Rock School Board has announced expansion of its desegregation program to four of its five junior high schools in September 1961. This is to be accomplished by assignment of 25 Negroes. As a result of new assignments, the number of Negro students in the city's 3 formerly white high schools will jump from 1 to 24. One of the three, Technical High School, will have Negro students for the first time. 184
Dollarway School District which, under prodding of Federal courts, is putting its grade-a-year desegregation plan into effect in the fall of 1961, will have one additional Negro pupil. On the day set for registration in May 1961, only one Negro appeared. 185
The prospects in Delaware have completely changed as a result of the disapproval of the State's grade-a-year plan by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The Federal district court was instructed to require the State Board of Education to submit a new program to accommodate all Negro pupils seeking nondiscriminatory admission to any grade beginning in the fall of 1961 and to provide for increasing numbers in subsequent years. The plan submitted by the board on March 31, 1961, was accepted by the court (with minor modifications) over the plaintiffs' objections.186 The district court held that the plan fulfilled the requirements of the court of appeals 187 in that it: (a) allowed Negro students that so desired to transfer immediately to a white or desegregated school as a matter of right, subject to the “usual and nondiscriminatory processing of the school system”; and (b) looked to “ingredients of a wholly integrated system.” 188 Thus, considerable expansion of desegregation in southern Delaware is anticipated in September 1961.
Four school districts in northern Virginia have exercised the option granted by State law to take over from the State Pupil Placement Board the assignment of their own pupils. A considerable increase in the number of Negroes attending schools with whites is anticipated. Arlington has announced the assignment of 104 Negroes to white schools, compared with 44 in 1960-61;189 Fairfax, 76 as compared with 27;190 Falls Church has assigned 3 Negro pupils and Newport News 14 to white schools for
3 the first time.191
The Virginia Pupil Placement Board, at the date of writing, has approved 137 applications of Negroes for assignment to formerly white schools in the fall of 1961 and rejected 266. Two Negro elementary school pupils were assigned to a white school in Stafford, one in King William and two in Montgomery Counties marking their first desegregation. All other assignments were to schools in previously desegregated districts.1918
The Knox County School Board, at its March 1961 meeting adopted a resolution desegregating the Knox County school system in its entirety. Thereafter, a Federal court ordered the Knox County schools to be completely desegregated in the fall of 1961, and struck the cause from the court's docket. 192
Asheville will become the 11th school district in the State to admit Negroes to previously white schools in September 1961. The city school board has granted five applications for admission or transfer to the first and second grades. Six applications for grades four and above were denied.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education has announced the transfer of 14 colored students to formerly white schools in September 1961; in 1960-61 only one was granted. 1925
Although on July 20, 1961, a Federal court ordered the Durham City Board of Education to reconsider the applications for transfer of 133 Negro plaintiffs and to render its decision on each application "on definite criteria and standards applicable to white and Negro children alike,” 192C less than 10 were granted by the board.192d At the date of writing the board's report to the court on each application was not available. In addition to the 133 applications referred to it by the court, the board has acted on 135 new applications received and denied all of them. All but six were denied on the ground that they were submitted on "unauthorized” forms. The Commission is informed that the "unauthorized” forms were exact copies of the authorized forms prepared by Negro leaders for parents who had not been able to secure board forms. Six on official forms were denied because there was no geographical reason for reassignment.1926 Thus, it appears that there will be very little expansion of desegregation in Durham this
unless the Federal court overrules the local board as to applications reconsidered by its order.
5. Legislative Resistance
In the past 2 years there has been a marked shift in some parts of the South from statewide, massive resistance to local option and freedom of choice fortified by tuition grants. Some States still cling to the older strategy.
When this Commission reported to the President and Congress in 1959 various massive resistance laws of Virginia and Arkansas had been held unconstitutional. But at that time the new pattern of legislative hostility to desegregation, although emerging, was not yet clear.
Massive resistance is characterized by a series of laws and resolutions adopted for the purpose of thwarting, or at least delaying, all efforts to implement the ruling in the School Segregation Cases. The key factors common to all such programs are:
The interposition of State authority in an attempt to nullify the effect of the Supreme Court ruling and orders of Federal district courts based thereon.
Statutes authorizing and directing State or local agencies to assign pupils to public school on the basis of standards requiring a subjective evaluation of the student as an individual, his scholastic abilities and achievement, as well as the usual considerations of curriculum, geography, transportation, and school capacity.
Centralized State control over public schools, traditionally vested in local school authorities.
In general the new approach returns control to local authorities, giving them and their respective communities a choice as to the future of their schools. The change in strategy is a response to a long series of court decisions on the constitutionality of massive resistance measures—most of which did not stand the test of litigation.
Thus, one Federal court declared the first Virginia Pupil Placement law unconstitutional because it required an “efficient operation of the schools," defined in another law as segregation. Another voided the Tennessee School Preference Act that authorized boards of education