Huntsville, Ala. (WAFF) – The Huntsville City School District has taken another step toward repealing a 59-year-old desegregation ordinance.
On Tuesday, Huntsville School Board members voted unanimously to approve a proposal for partial unified status in the key area of faculty diversity.
“Green factors and, most importantly, unit status are at the heart of every decision this school system makes,” said District 4 board member Ryan Reno.
Terminology green factors comes from the 1968 Supreme Court case Greene v. County Board of New Kent County. They are areas where the board needs to overcome the effects of the previous segregated system.
There are seven eligibility factors for Huntsville City Schools, including student placement, equitable access to course offerings, extracurricular activities, faculty and staff placement, facilities, student discipline, and transportation.
A court may grant a school system single status on one green factor, but the desegregation case is not over until the school system achieves single status on all green factors.
Huntsville achieved partial unit status in transportation two years ago.
School Board Vice President Michelle Watkins believes Tuesday’s decision was made after much effort.
“I can say without a doubt that I am confident that minorities and women will be treated fairly in the last two years,” Watkins said.
School board attorney Christopher Papp says the district has worked diligently to make the faculty more diverse. He says that now there are more black principals and teachers than ever before. However, she said the school will continue its efforts to make the school system fair and equitable for students and teachers.
“In a perfect world, once we get unitary status, you wouldn’t even be able to tell the difference because we’d continue to do the things that got us there in the first place,” Pape said.
This request will go through the final stage and will be presented to the courts from February 8 to 22. The courts will then make the final decision to approve or deny unitary status.
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