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6 Southern States Fall Short on Desegregation: Bennett

February 10, 1988|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Secretary of Education William J. Bennett announced today that his department has found four Southern states in full compliance with civil rights law in their college systems, while six others must take further steps to eliminate the vestiges of segregation.

The six states that Bennett said are in partial violation of the law are Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma and Virginia.

He told a news conference that they have failed "to implement one or more specified desegregation measures to which they had previously agreed."

The four states in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act are Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia.

90 Days for Assurances

In letters sent to six governors, Bennett gave the states 90 days to submit assurances that they will carry out the additional desegregation measures by Dec. 31.

The action came as the latest step in a 2-decade-old desegregation dispute with Southern and border states that once segregated their colleges by law.

Education Department officials acknowledged that the states in general fell short of meeting all the goals and timetables set in 1978 for minority recruitment, hiring and enhancement of traditionally black campuses.

But Bennett said: "All of the 10 states have made significant and substantial progress in desegregating their systems of public higher education. Each has done all or most of what it committed to do."

Recruitment Measures

He said he is "especially heartened by aggressive minority student recruitment measures" in the 10 states and by the improvement of facilities at their traditionally black institutions.

He said the goals were never meant to be quotas.

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