California leads the nation in public schools named after slain civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., according to SchoolMatch, an Ohio research company that analyzes data on public and private schools across the nation.
Of the 138 public schools in the nation named after King, 27 are in California. Michigan has 10 and Illinois nine.
"It points to the currency of the King name in the state of California," said the Rev. Norman Johnson, interim executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. "Secondly, it points to the openness to perpetuate his memory in such a substantial way."
Johnson added that the Los Angeles chapter of the conference was formed in 1964 upon King's request. "Dr. King was well-received in California," he said.