- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 1, 2014

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) - A federal judge is ordering mediation to resolve a dispute over racial segregation in Huntsville’s city schools.

U.S. District Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala ordered the talks as the city attempts to draw new district lines for its school zones.

The rezoning has to be approved by a federal judge because of a desegregation lawsuit dating back to 1963, when the federal government sued to end racial segregation in the system.

The Justice Department objects to the system’s current rezoning plan, arguing it would lead to more students attending class in segregated environments.

The school system and the federal government each submitted districting plans, but the judge rejected both and ordered mediation.

Huntsville schools are about 40 percent black and 60 percent white, but the judge says segregation continues.

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