6th Circuit upholds ruling in favor of MNPS' 2008 rezoning plan

Friday, May 10, 2013 at 3:18pm

The federal court ruling that found no wrongdoing in Metro Nashville Public Schools’ 2008 rezoning plan was affirmed by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday.

Frances Spurlock sued the school system after rezoning made the Hillwood and Pearl-Cohn clusters more racially isolated. U.S District Judge Kevin Sharp ruled that the plan was segregative, but there was no proof that the intent was segregative.

The appeals court agreed with Sharp’s ruling, which mentioned that the plan increased racial isolation but also filled other major needs for the school system. For a copy of the appeals court ruling, click here.

“The [rezoning] Plan seems to have achieved a modest measure of success in improving school utilization while modestly increasing racial isolation,” the ruling reads. “Whether that incremental step forward was worth the incremental step backward is a debatable question.”

U.S. Circuit Judge Ronald Lee Gilman issued the opinion. The case was argued in Cincinnati on April 24.

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