Los Angeles — More than 7,000 elementary and junior high school students were returning to their neighborhood schools today (April 20) as the result of a court ruling that upholds plans to dismantle the city's mandatory busing program. A federal appeals court, in a ruling announced late Saturday, overtumed a federal judge who had granted the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People a temporary restraining order that reinstated busing for about 23,000 students.
About 16,000 had elected to stay in the integrated schools until the end of the term in June, but 7,300 had chosen to return to their neighborhood schools at the end of spring vacation, today.
The dismantling of the busing system began in March after the state Supreme Court ruled that an antibusing ballot measure, Proposition 1, was constitutional. But US District Judge A. Wallace Tashima granted the order to get the busing mechanism in operation again in the nation's second-largest school district.
The federal panel voted 2 to 1 to vacate Judge Tashima's order, but Judges Arthur Alarcon and Stephen Reinhardt wrote in their decision that the busing controversy was "not a proud chapter in the history of Los Angeles." They added that the end of the litigation over the matter was not in sight.
The long-running debate is not over. The NAACP has before the state Supreme Court an appeal to block busing termination, and has filed another suit in US District Court against the school board. It was that second a ction upon which the temporary restraining order was issued