U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider recently declared that Tyler ISD has attained unitary status, dismissing the 46 year old federal desegregation order.
“This is a historic day for Tyler ISD,” Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford said. “We look forward to moving the District forward.”
The federal desegregation order, under which Tyler ISD has operated since July 27, 1970, imposes federal judicial supervision on various district operations. School districts around the state and country have operated under the civil rights-era desegregation orders. Over the years, many of those districts successfully sought unitary status, the process through which a district asks the court to dismiss the desegregation litigation. Unitary status is a desegregation-era legal term that means a school district operates using a single system for all students, rather than operating dual, racially-based systems, which were common in many school districts in the 1960s. The Tyler ISD Board of Trustees authorized the District to begin the process of seeking unitary status May 19, 2016.
To obtain unitary status, a school district must establish that it has eliminated the vestiges of past discrimination and that it has complied in good faith with the court’s orders. On May 17, 2016, attorney Marcos G. Ronquillo of the Fishman Jackson Ronquillo PLLC law firm made a formal presentation to the Tyler ISD Board of Trustees showing Tyler ISD had satisfied its burden and is eligible for unitary status.
Judge Schneider ruled today, August 26, that Tyler ISD has attained unitary status in all areas - including faculty, staff, student assignment, facilities, transportation and extracurricular activities.