School Desegregation in New Castle County, Delaware

Historical Background
  • Julie Schmidt


A lawsuit filed in 1971 in the U.S. District Court of Delaware renewed litigation for school desegregation in Delaware’s northern New Castle County. Five black parents residing in the city of Wilmington petitioned the federal court to grant the Constitutional rights of their children (and those similarly situated) to an equal educational opportunity. At that time, the plaintiffs sought a remedy that would portion sections of the city district with the contiguous suburban school districts. Following several years of judicial hearings, the U.S. District Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs’ petition, but fashioned a remedy that grouped the bulk of the county into a single school district, thus ordering the nation’s first metropolitan school desegregation remedy.1


Board Member School Official District Court School Desegregation Suburban School 
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  1. Bresnahan, R. B. & Showell, H. I. ( 1977, February). Report on voluntary student transfer program. Dover, DE: Department of Public Instruction.Google Scholar
  2. Hoffecker, C. (Ed.). (1973). Readings in Delaware history. Newark, DE: Univ. of Delaware Press. Madden, K. C. (1969). History of education in Delaware. Dover, DE: Department of Public Instruction.Google Scholar
  3. Mowrey, R. C. (1974). Delaware school district organization and boundaries. Dover, DE: Department of Public Instruction.Google Scholar
  4. Schmidt J. A. (1979). School desegregation in Wilmington, Delaware: A case study in non-decisionmaking. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Delaware, Newark, DE.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie Schmidt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Educational StudiesUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA

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