Louisiana integrates

November 18, 1994

Forty years after the historic Brown v Board of Education ruling in the United States that blacks were receiving separate and unequal schooling, states in the South are still segregating university education.

The latest development in the lumbering process of integration concerns Louisiana. Officials in that state have agreed to spend $60 million to integrate Louisiana's 18 universities, thus ending a 20-year legal battle.

The Justice Department argues that the state operated a dual system of higher education, an allegation the state has denied. There is no question, however, that it has a predominantly black Southern University system and white Louisiana State University system.

The $60 million plan would pay for new undergraduate and graduate programmes at the mostly black universities to attract white students and new graduate programmes at the mostly white universities to attract blacks. It would also pay for more scholarships and recruiters at every campus to attract students of all races.

Another state with a dual higher education system is Mississippi where black leaders have been fighting to preserve three black colleges, one of which the state wants to merge into a predominatly white institution.

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