- Associated Press - Thursday, October 9, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Tenn. (AP) - A month after federal investigators determined that Robertson County Schools have not desegregated, officials have released a proposed redistricting plan.

Robertson County Director of Schools Mike Davis told The Tennessean (https://tnne.ws/1xqPWiT) on Monday that the new attendance zones were developed by the federal government, not the local school board.

The district in Middle Tennessee was notified in early September that federal investigators had finished their review of its schools and found them to be in non-compliance. A letter posted on the school system’s website says it is required to enter into a settlement agreement “in order to avoid litigation by the United States Department of Justice, and the potential loss of all federal funds to the Robertson County School District.”

A letter from the Justice Department says investigators found that the district “has engaged in a longstanding pattern of decisions that have hindered, rather than furthered, the desegregation of its schools.”

The letter gave two examples. It said seven “almost all-white schools” had been built since 1970; it also noted that portable units have been used to alleviate overcrowding in schools with high minority populations rather than sending students to other schools that are under capacity and predominantly white.

“The Department of Justice puts the least amount of money into our budget, but they’re the ones who get to call the shots on what we do,” School Board Vice Chairman Jeff White said. “We didn’t get to make any choices in what was going on and we were told, ‘This is what you’ll do.’”

Public forums over the changes proposed by the Department of Justice will be held at schools in the district throughout October.

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Information from: The Tennessean, https://www.tennessean.com

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