- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 22, 2007

MACON, Ga. (AP) — A federal judge has lifted supervision from public schools in Macon and the surrounding county, three decades after they were ordered to desegregate.

U.S. District Judge Wilbur D. Owens Jr. ruled Tuesday that the school district has met its court obligations to integrate its schools.

“Racial imbalances in some schools raised as a concern by some members of the public are not the result of present or past discrimination on the school district’s part,” Judge Owens said in his ruling.

The judge said the school system will be required to maintain its minority busing system, at least temporarily.

Lawyers representing both black and white parents and students reached a compromise with the Bibb County School System, which they presented to Judge Owens last month in hopes of ending the 1978 consent decree.

A lawsuit was filed in August 1963 on behalf of blacks who wanted the school system desegregated. The courts implemented various remedies, including redrawing attendance zone lines, improving facilities and establishing the busing program.

Today, black students make up 56 percent of the school system, which has about 20,000 children.

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