The NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF), joined by co-counsel Gideon Carter of Baton Rouge, LA, filed a brief asking the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to reverse a July decision granting a Louisiana charter school’s motion to operate a virtually one-race school in the St. James Parish School District, which already contains three racially segregated elementary schools.
“The facts are stark and clear. Despite only 62% of the school district’s student population being Black, the enrollment at three schools in historically segregated areas is over 96% Black. There’s a reason the St. James School District has been under a desegregation order that dates back decades,” said Deuel Ross, Assistant Counsel for LDF. “The district court’s decision to allow a charter school to open a fourth one-race school is a step backwards that undermines LDF’s and others’ efforts to integrate the schools.”
“The Fifth Circuit must ensure that charter schools are not increasing segregation in districts under desegregation orders,” continued Ross. “Charter schools, like all schools, must be held accountable.”
“Since Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court has never wavered in its message that the federal district courts are responsible for actively preventing resegregation,” added Rachel Kleinman, Senior Counsel for LDF. “The courts have the duty to ensure that charter schools are promoting racial diversity and equality, not perpetuating past evils.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.