Social Question

john65pennington's avatar

Why do we still have busing in America?

Asked by john65pennington (29057 points ) March 24th, 2010

I thought the idea of busing was to achieve racial equality in the schools. that time has long come and passed. why are we still busing children for this purpose?

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37 Answers

jaytkay's avatar

Are we? (I have no idea)

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

I thought busing was to get them to school.

Blackberry's avatar

What is the ‘busing’ you are referring to? I thought this was about tables in restaurants lol.

jealoustome's avatar

Because in many areas of the country lower income neighborhoods are predominantly black and upper income neighborhoods are white, so there is a segregation of sorts but it is now an economic disparity. It still results in the same dilemma: all white or all black schools without busing.

Edit: I’m not pro-busing, just sharing the logic behind it. In Denver, they stopped busing and all of the schools have now reverted back to being predominantly one ethnic majority.

meagan's avatar

Why do we need public transport? Is that the question?

jealoustome's avatar

Seriously, people, the man asked a legitimate question about busing for the purposes of desegregating the schools. If you don’t know the answer, don’t just spew a bunch of nonsense.

john65pennington's avatar

A bus with the colors yellow and black. not a table with four legs.

J0E's avatar

wait…what?

meagan's avatar

@john65pennington Not everyone can drive their child to school every day. And not every child is within a mile of their school to walk.

rangerr's avatar

…..I rode the bus so I could attend school..
Not because I’m white…

Bernard's avatar

Because white, red and brown are terrible colors for buses.

jaytkay's avatar

Still waiting for an answer. Where is there still busing “to achieve racial equality”?

DeanV's avatar

Based on California Education Code (I don’t know about where you live, but I assume it is the same) public schools have to provide transportation to schools for students in their district. I’m just going to go out on a limb and say busing stays because it’s required by law.

john65pennington's avatar

I think everyone is missing my point. why are school buses still being used for desegragation of schools? i understand the basic transportation answers, but this is not my question. i ask this question because federal money is still coming into my state government to pay for busing to achieve racial equality. hasn’t the deadline for this ended?

Jealoustome, thanks for your input. your answer also clarified my question.

jealoustome's avatar

Desegregation Busing for those who don’t know what it is.

rangerr's avatar

I’m sorry. I didn’t know we were still hanging out in the 70’s. Can you give us a link or something that can show where this is still happening?

DeanV's avatar

@john65pennington I’m just saying that buses, although they may have been used for desegregation purposes in that past, have evolved into something completely different nowadays. They are no longer a tool used by a school to promote racial equality, they are a tool used to get students to school because law requires they do to those not able to get there themselves.

If the funding description explicitly says “for racial equality”, that’s a totally different story, I’m just saying that they’re probably used for following standards set by your state unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Dog's avatar

In Los Angeles this practice was halted in 1981

WestRiverrat's avatar

To answer the original question. The main reason most schools still use bussing is money. As long as the bussing is for ‘desegregation’ the Federal gov’t picks up most of the tab. As soon as they stop they lose the funding.

In other words it pays more to ship Joey across town for an hour and a half, instead of letting him go to the school across the street.

jaytkay's avatar

@WestRiverrat As long as the bussing is for ‘desegregation’ the Federal gov’t picks up most of the tab…

Where does this happen?

JLeslie's avatar

I thought the supreme court got rid of busing several years ago? Maybe some communities are still doing it? As I think about it maybe the requirement of busing is gone, but it is not illegal to do it??

DeanV's avatar

I think we should all distinguish between busing and desegregation busing in our answers. They’re not the same thing.

jaytkay's avatar

I assume desegregation busing is no longer done. I’ve asked three times for examples with no replies.

JLeslie's avatar

@dverhey The OP’s question spoke of busing for racial equality. I don’t see why people on the thread are confused?

JLeslie's avatar

To answer the original question. If it is still being done, it is to desegregate schools I would guess.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@jaytkay It is still done. At least it was 2 years ago. I am packing to move, so I don’t have my school board meeting notes where I can get to them. When I unpack I will scan and post the pertinent information.

jaytkay's avatar

I don’t see why people on the thread are confused?

Because the practice is long gone, and younger people aren’t aware of how controversial it was.

On the other hand, I remember seeing this Boston photo in the paper:
http://www.usnews.com/dbimages/master/4295/FE_DA_080405flag.jpg

JLeslie's avatar

@jaytkay But he wrote, “to acheive racial equality.” I guess if the people on the thread are under the age of 30, or always went to private school, they might not know. I am sure it is still taught in history class though. I don’t think we had busing at any of my schools. The communities were diverse already. Still, I don’t expect everyone to know everything, so I don’t want to sound critical. There are a whole bunch of topics I am clueless about that others might find surprising. Sorry if I sounded condescending. Not my intention.

jaytkay's avatar

@JLeslie
The answers were so matter-of-fact I assume it’s simply no longer common knowledge.

njnyjobs's avatar

In Missouri, the St. Louis Student Transfer Program was established to increase racial integration in metropolitan area public schools under a Settlement Agreement reached in the St. Louis desegregation case and approved by the Federal Court in 1983. This Settlement Agreement allows African-American students residing in the City of St. Louis to attend one of several participating school districts in St. Louis County, provided certain eligibility requirements regarding residency and behavior records are met. The program also provides for non-African-American students who live in participating suburban school districts to transfer into St. Louis Magnet Schools in the city.

In 1999, a revised Settlement Agreement was reached amongst the various parties which transformed the federally supervised program into a “voluntary” program under the jurisdiction of a newly established 501( c )( 3 ) non-profit corporation, the Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corporation (VICC), with the agreement that suburban school districts would continue accepting new transfer students and maintain certain targeted enrollment levels for at least a ten-year period ending in 2008–2009. This new agreement included language specifying that the program could be extended to accept new students beyond the 2008–2009 original ending date for new enrollments. A five-year extension pursuant to this provision was unanimously approved by the VICC Board in June, 2007. As a result, new students are continuing to be enrolled by districts
through at least the 2013–2014 school year. Once enrolled, students are allowed to continue their education in their chosen suburban district through graduation. Due to the success of the program, an additional extension for new enrollments could be considered in the future.

Originally under the supervision of the Federal Courts, the St. Louis Student Transfer program is now managed by a non-profit corporation governed by a board of directors comprised of superintendents of the participating school districts who decide policy and make decisions about the program in accordance with the provisions of the governing Settlement Agreement. Each board member’s vote is weighted in proportion to the number of transfer students his/her district receives.

The St. Louis Student Transfer program removes barriers to educational success and gives young people from a variety of racial and cultural backgrounds the tools that they need today to work together to meet the challenges of tomorrow. While no formal report on program effectiveness is required by the Federal Court or the State of Missouri, past studies conducted by VICC show a higher graduation rate (80—100 percent depending on county district versus 49 percent in the city), higher attendance rates (92 percent versus 89 percent), higher achievement levels over time on state standardized tests (as measured by the Missouri Assessment Program—MAP—test index scores) and more positive attitudes and success in integrated environments.

Source: VICC

jaytkay's avatar

Thank you, njnyjobs

Ron_C's avatar

We have busing here because most of the residents live too far from the school to walk to it. I expect that they have busing in big cities because they don’t build schools in poor neighborhoods. Our public school systems are in very bad shape. The federal government mandates programs and standards and local communities are expected to pay for them. If they can’t, there is no outside support so the kids have to be bused to where they can receive a decent education. Unfortunately, in some southern states, no such school may exist within a reasonable distance from the children’s homes. That is why we have such poor conditions in Mississippi and Alabama.

JLeslie's avatar

@Ron_C The question was talking about busing for intergration of schools. About the point you made, you think part of the reason MS and AL have poor conditions is because of federal government mandates? I don’t undertsand that.

Ron_C's avatar

@JLeslie I got the point of the question and also the implication that racial equality has been reached so it is no longer necessary. I submit that there is no a greater disparity in education for the middle class versus the poor. Since the poor are most likely to be racial minorities, busing is still necessary.

I don’t think that you can blame federal mandates for the poor state of education in MS or AL because they had a two tier system long before the federal government tried to set standards. In fact, I suspect black got a better education because the state left them alone. Now that integration is forced, the citizens, that could afford it, moved to private schools and don’t see the reason to spend money on white trash or black people.

I expect federal mandates actually improve education in the poorer states.

jaytkay's avatar

The original post was not about busing simply to get kids to school. It was about something which has disappeared.

Busing for racial/economic integration was mandatory in the 1970s and hugely controversial, on the order of abortion or the current health care debate.

The St Louis busing linked by njnyjobs is voluntary. From the linked story it sounds non-controversial and seems to be working quite well.

JLeslie's avatar

@Ron_C Thanks for clarifiying. I agree with you.

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