— -- The Mississippi district that was ordered to desegregate its schools is fighting back. The move comes amid a newly released government report that suggests that segregation in public schools may be increasing.
The town of Cleveland, Miss., was ordered on Friday to desegregate two middle schools and two high schools that remain racially segregated.
In a statement, the Cleveland School District argues that its proposed plans of open enrollment allow students to attend the school of their choice regardless of race or address and that it "strongly believes" the judge's decision has inaccurately portrayed the district as segregated.
"The undeniable truth is that the Cleveland School District’s student population is integrated and has been for decades," the school district said, adding that it provides "excellent educational opportunities to all students."
The school district notes that neither of its two middle schools nor its two high schools have a "majority white enrollment." The school board believes the court's decision to consolidate schools will "limit the choices of both parents and students."
The Cleveland School District's board "is examining the 96-page opinion of the Court and considering its options for appeal," the statement read.
The statement was released the same day as the Government Accountability Office issued a report suggesting that segregation is getting worse in the America rather than better, more than six decades after the landmark desegregation case Brown v. Board of Education.
The GAO report asserts that the number of poorer schools that are attended mostly by black and Hispanic students has grown in recent years.
Specifically the GAO found that during the 2000-2001 school year, 9 percent of public schools had 75 percent or more black or Hispanic students. In the 2013-2014 school year, that number went up to 16 percent of all public schools fitting the bill.
The report was released to members of Congress on April 21 and released publicly today.
"This report is a national call to action," Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) told the Associated Press.