In 1962, a lawsuit was filed against the Longview Independent School District (LISD) in the the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The suit later resulted in a 1970 desegregation order, which created attendance zones and provided for transportation of students to schools to achieve racial balancing as well as a majority-to-minority transfer program. Unfortunately there is very little additional information as to the details of that lawsuit or the content of the order.
On June 25, 2004, the United States (the plaintiff-intervenor) and the LISD submitted a joint motion to amend the 1970 order to allow for the creation of magnet schools in the district. According to the motion, since the creation of the 1970 order, the total enrollment of the district has gone down, along with the enrollment of white students, while percentages of African American and Hispanic students enrolled has increased. The parties stated that the magnet school program would alleviate burdens on African American students being bussed long distances to other schools and would attract students to the district. The magnet schools would have an attendance zone from which students could automatically enroll, with the rest of the capacity filled by lottery. On July 15, 2004, the Court (Judge Leonard Davis) approved the joint motion.
On August 4, 2008, the Court issued a consent order approving the parties' joint proposal to close one of the elementary schools in the district. The school was being closed in conjunction with an overall adjustment of the district prompted by the district receiving funding to construct eight new schools and renovate two existing elementary schools. The Court also enjoined the LISD from making any transfers of students that were not part of the majority-to-minority plan allowed by the 1970 order, as the district had been making transfers for other reasons that had a negative impact on racial balances in the schools.
On December 17, 2010, the parties submitted a joint motion to modify the desegregation order to allow amended school zones, which became necessary with the building of new schools, and to amend transfer requirements to allow, in addition to majority-to-minority transfer requirements, three sorts of transfers: transfers for students whose parents or guardians work in the school to which they want to be transferred, transfers out of a school that is failing to make No Child Left Behind annual yearly progress goals, and transfers for students with special needs. The joint motion also specified that the district would continue desegregation efforts in staff and faculty and would make annual reports. On January 24, 2011, the Court approved the parties' plan.
On February 27, 2014, the parties submitted a joint motion for declaration of partial unitary status, stipulating that the school district had fulfilled the 1970 order and achieved unitary status in the areas of: facilities and resource allocation, transportation, extracurricular activities, and staff assignment. The Court approved the motion on February 28, 2014.
On September 19, 2014, the Court granted a motion to extend deadlines for discovery related to declaring unitary status, but set a hearing date of December 17, 2014, if the parties could not resolve the dispute before that date. Claire Lally - 12/01/2014