BOSTON - Almost 50 years after state-sponsored racial segregation of public schools was outlawed, they are again becoming more racially divided, according to a new report released by the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University.Skip to next paragraph
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The report found integration among whites and blacks steady or decreasing in all but a handful of the nation's largest school districts over the past 14 years. The resegregation results from recent court rulings that dismantled desegregation laws, as well as stalled integration efforts, according to the report's authors. The 20 most rapidly resegregating districts are concentrated in the South, with eight in Texas and three in Georgia. But the report noted that the most stable districts are also in the South.
RALEIGH, N.C. - A state legislative committee recommended a ban on the use of public funds for a University of North Carolina reading assignment on the Koran unless other religions get equal time. The book, "Approaching the Qur'an," by Michael Sells, is assigned reading for about 4,200 incoming freshmen and transfer students. It has prompted heated discussion and a lawsuit from some students (see the July 30 Monitor story). To become law, the proposed ban would have to be passed by North Carolina's full House and Senate and be signed by the governor.
LOS ANGELES - Officials voted to spend $100 million in tobacco-tax money for free preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds in Los Angeles County. The program, unanimously approved last week, could begin enrolling toddlers within six months. It will first target low-income children, expanding half-day programs to a full day. Eventually, it will open to all children and provide enhanced child care for infants, as well. The funding comes from Proposition 10, which added a 50-cent tax to each pack of cigarettes to generate money for social services for families with young children.
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - With new reforms that ease restrictions on the Kurdish language, a handful of Turkish schools are preparing to teach the once-taboo tongue. The reforms, intended to boost Turkey's chances of joining the European Union, allow private institutes to teach Kurdish, and they legalize TV and radio broadcasts in the language. Turkey, which fought a 15-year war with separatist Kurdish guerrillas, had argued that teaching Kurdish would promote separatism.
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