Judge Rules Texas City's Schools Integrated

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) - A federal judge has ruled that the Galveston public school system is desegregated, ending a civil rights lawsuit that was initiated in 1959.

U.S. District Judge Sim Lake of Houston issued the ruling Friday, saying the district's history of compliance with a 1969 desegregation plan showed that the schools had fully integrated.

The school district formulated the plan 30 years ago requiring all students to attend the school nearest to where they lived, but judges had ruled several times that the district was not integrated.

In 2007, the League of United Latin American Citizens filed a formal complaint over the closure of an elementary school with a heavily Hispanic student body.

Lake, who approved that school's closure, wrote in Friday's ruling that he found no segregation in faculty and staff assignments, pupil transportation, extracurricular activities, facilities, resource allocation, student achievement or special programs.

The district's "long, almost 50-year, history of compliance with the court's orders to desegregate demonstrates that GISD has accepted the principal of racial equality and will not revert back to a dual school system," the judge wrote in his ruling.

District Superintendent Lynne Cleveland told The Galveston County Daily News that she was "thrilled" by the ruling.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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