Judge Denies Injunction Request in Student Assignment Case

by scrosby on August 4, 2009

A federal judge has denied a request for injunction against the Jefferson County Public Schools assignment plan for elementary school students. U.S. District Judge John Heyburn says the school district did not act unconstitutionally in its method of assigning kindergartners to schools.

JCPS Attorney Byron Leets says the judge’s comments bode well for the lawsuit against the assignment plan that has yet to be argued.

“It is very promising going forward that the judge obviously appreciates the significance of Justice Kennedy’s opinion in the Supreme Court so we feel very good about that going forward in the case, defending the case,” says Leets.

The attorney for the plaintiffs, Teddy Gordon, says he’ll continue to pursue the lawsuit against the school district’s elementary assignment plan. He had argued some students were assigned to their school based on race,  but the court today disagreed.

“We need to review the census tracts,” says Gordon, “there is absolutely zero doubt in my mind that this is a substitute for race or a proxy for race.”

The US Supreme Court ruled in Meredith vs. the Jefferson County Board of Education that making student assignments based solely on race is unconstitutional.

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