May 25, 2005
PHOENIX - After 19 years of government monitoring, a
desegregation order on Phoenix Union's high schools has been lifted.
Tuesday's ruling by a federal judge leaves the Tucson
Unified School District with the only open desegregation case in Arizona.
Phoenix Union High School District officials say that its
schools have been transformed since 1985 when Hispanic and black students
attended schools primarily in neighborhoods with minority populations.
Now, they say the district has a 90 percent minority
population and officials have reversed dropout rates, increased attendance
and developed magnet programs attracting 4,000 students to study aviation,
law and computer science.
"This simply means that the district has met its
obligations," said Superintendent Raj Chopra of the court ruling. "It also
means that our commitment to making sure that all students achieve success
The district will keep $46 million raised annually through
property taxes to continue desegregation efforts.
The federal desegregation order arose out of a lawsuit filed
20 years ago after the district closed four schools attended by minority