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United States and CRUCIAL v. Ector County Independent School District

This case was filed in 1970 by the United States against the Ector County Independent School District for failing to desegregate its public schools and that same year, the United States District Court judge ordered the District to desegregate. In 1981, MALDEF intervened on behalf of an organization of Latino and African American parents of school children because the District had never submitted a desegregation plan and the District continued to operate a dual school system. Following a trial, in 1983 the court found that the District had continued illegally to segregate its Latino and African American children and in 1984, the Court approved the District’s desegregation plan.

In 2005, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas ordered the parties to address whether the school district had achieved unitary status and thus should be released from the desegregation plan. The parties subsequently reached an agreement in mediation and on August 15, 2006, the U.S. District Judge Robert Junell signed the Consent Order, retaining jurisdiction over the agreed-upon desegregation plan for three years. The Consent Order grants dismissal in the areas of non-faculty staff, facilities, extracurricular activities, and transportation. The Consent Order also retains court supervision for a period of at least three years and provides specific remedies to further desegregate the District in the areas of student assignments, bilingual education, faculty, gifted and talented, and quality of education issues including student achievement.

In September 2007 and again in September 2008, MALDEF met with the District to discuss the District’s compliance and noncompliance with a number of provisions in the Consent Order. MALDEF requested additional documentation from the District in order to determine whether further noncompliance has occurred.