By JEFF AMY
GREENVILLE, Miss. — Testifying for the federal government, a Vanderbilt University professor says the Mississippi school district’s desegregation proposals are insufficient to entice white students to enroll at the city’s historically black high school and middle school.
Claire Smrekar told U.S. District Judge Debra Brown Wednesday that advanced programs proposed by the district for East Side High School are unlikely to attract enough white students to truly desegregate the school.
The U.S. Department of Justice wants Brown to order Mississippi to consolidate its middle and high schools. A previous court ruling found Mississippi hasn’t done enough to integrate.
Witnesses with the Mississippi school district have told Brown that she should rely on voluntary measures to encourage white enrollment, predicting mandatory consolidation will cause the white minority in the 3,800-student district to flee.