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Finance and Economics Discussion Series logo links to FEDS home page Post Brown vs. the Board of Education: The Effects of the End of Court-Ordered Desegregation
Byron F. Lutz

Abstract: In the early 1990s, nearly forty years after Brown v. the Board of Education, three Supreme Court decisions dramaically altered the legal environment for court-ordered desegregation. Lower courts have released numerous school districts from their desegregation plans as a result. Over the same period racial segregation increased in public schools across the country -- a phenomenon which has been termed resegregation. Using a unique dataset, this paper finds that dismissal of a court-ordered desegregation plan results in a gradual, moderate increase in racial segregation and an increase in black dropout rates and black private school attendance. The increased dropout rates and private school attendance are experienced only by districts located outside of the South Census region. There is no evidence of an effect on white student along any dimension.

Keywords: Desegregation, education, dropout, race

Full paper (383 KB PDF)

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Last update: December 23, 2005