Boston mulls new school busing plan

Oct. 5, 2012 at 8:30 AM

BOSTON, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Boston public school officials said they are considering a plan that would end 40 years of court-ordered busing to desegregate schools.

In 1974, a federal judge ordered Boston public schools to bus white students to black schools and vice versa in an effort to racially desegregate the district. The practice has continued even though today only 13 percent of students in the district are white, The New York Times reported.

"Now, there are no white kids to be integrated. Everyone is being randomly bused. It doesn't make sense," said Lawrence DiCara, a former Boston city councilor.

About 64 percent of students in kindergarten through eighth grade are bused to schools outside their neighborhood, a practice that costs the city $80.4 million a year, nearly twice the national average, the Times reported.

Critics of the proposal to end the practice said randomly assigning students to schools outside their own neighborhood is no longer about race, it's about a lack of good schools.

"We want quality schools, whether they are across the street or across town," said Kim M. Janey, senior project director for Massachusetts Advocates for Children. "A plan that limits choice and that is strictly neighborhood-based gets us to a system that is more segregated than it is now."

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