voters for 1967 elections during the general elections at the polls this year. If this is approved, Thomas tells the Observer, district 14 T.L.D. members will try to set up registration facilities at polls in the Austin area. DESPITE CONCERN about the reality of advances for the Negroes, there has been a perceptible change in Texas public opinion, with more people now favoring or at least accepting desegregation. Last year, as school was resuming in the fall, Mansfield Supt. Willie Pigg, who had been the high school principal there on that tumultuous day in 1956, was able to say, “Times have changed. Nine years ago, integration was new to everybody. They weren’t ready for it. The attitude has now changed.” The day Pigg spoke Negroes were enrolling in all grades of Mansfield’s formerly all-white school FIRST, THE SCHOOLS. Some 100,000 of the state’s 400,000 Negro students are in classes at formerly all-white schools, the Dallas News’ Richard Morehead reports,” compared to 7,000 in 1962’63 and perhaps 25,000 just two years ago. 18 Examples of expressed defiance to federal desegregation requirements in the past 30 months have been rare in the state. On March 5, 1965, a district judge in Austin erased from Texas’ law books and Constitution all school segregation laws, some of them passed by the legislature eight years before in special session. The ruling drew little public notice. 18 And in East Texas, a special Texas Education Agency study revealed, compliance by school districts was unexpectedly uniform. 17 School district officials evidently have become less worried about “strings attached” to federal aid and more concerned that they may not get their share of the U.S. money. Federal school funds have nearly tripl6d in Texas in the last two years and will total between $104 and $160 million during 1966-’67. 18 Of the state’s some 1,300 school districts, about 700 were automatically OK’d for continued eligibility in 1966-’67, as they are all-Negro or all-white districts. Fifteen other Texas districts \( three in following court ordered desegregation plans and thus are in compliance. Of the remaining 560 districts, about 200 had received notices when school opened that they were in compliance; the other 360 districts were awaiting word, 18 but are not likely to lose federal aid, says Leon Graham of the Texas Education Agency. “I expect Texas schools to go ahead and meet the requirements, whatever they are. Practically every school district is doing so,” Graham told the Observer. The trend in Texas appears to mean that it is certain that all but a handful of districts will 2 The Texas Observer with nine on the football roster and others in the school band.” At nearby Grapevine, facing integration that same fall, parents had held interracial meetings during the summer and decided to hold social functions at which the white and Negro families could meet and introduce the students of both races to each other. Friendships were made.”’ And statewide, the Belden Poll reports that public opinion is beginning now to favor Negro goals. In 1963 the only integrationist proposition supported by 50% or more of the whites interviewed was acceptance of Negroes working with them at the same jobs. Since the 1963 sampling, 50% or more of the whites interviewed have come to accept sharing railroad cars, restaurants, hotels, schools, and churches with Negroes. Still unacceptable to most whites are the sharing of public swimming pools and mixed social gatherings in or outside the home.’ 3 have no formal racial barriers for either faculty or students in any grade by the fall, 1967, the target date announced by the U.S. Office of Education.* The fact that integration nevertheless continues to be attacked as “token” is the basis of a lawsuit that seeks to prevent continuation of a $60 million school construction program in Houston. Those who filed the suit contend that building and expanding schools in Negro sections denies Negro students the right to attend desegregated schools and perpetuates segregation. The suit failed in a Houston court, but is now being considered on appeal. If the lawsuit prevailed, it could signal a new turn in desegregation. Meanwhile construction work has begun in Houston.” In Dallas a policy of “de-integration” ceased. During the 1963-’64 school year two Dallas elementary schools were re *Newspapers in the past two and one-half years have frequently reported closings of allNegro schools and desegregation of faculty and students in compliance with federal standards. The clippings include word of desegregation progress at these districts, listed alphabetically: Arlington, Aldine, Athens, Angleton, Alvarado, Anderson, Atlanta, Austin, Burkeville, Bonham, Big Sandy, Big Spring, Baytown, Bartlett, Brenham, Barbers Hill, Beckv:ille, Beaumont, Corpus Christi, Crockett, Cuero, Commerce, Crosbyton, Cleveland, Clarksville, Cayuga, Dayton, Dallas, Denison, Del Valle Bedford, East Liberty, Ennis, El Campo, Fort Worth, Grapevine, Garland, Gonzales, Goliad, Grandview, Giddings, Grand Prairie, Gilmer, Granger, Galveston, Gainesville, Houston, Hutto, Huntsville, Haskell, Hull-Daisetta, Hardin, Irving, Jacksonville, Kilgore, Kirbyville, Keystone, LaPorte, LaGrange, Longview, Lufkin, Liberty, Livingston \(plus all eight other Polk County plus all others Mexia, Muleshoe, Mansfield, Midlothian, Manor, Manvel, Mesquite, Northeast Houston, New Summerfield, Newton, Nederland, Orange, Omaha, Paris, Port Arthur, Palestine, Robstown, Seguin, Sweeny. Sealy, Tyler, Taylor, Texas City, Tomball, Waelder, West Oso, White Oak, and Waco. designated “colored” schools by the school board, reducing the number of Negroes in desegregated schools from 182 to 110. Dallas schools that year bore one of three classifications, “white,” “colored,” and “desegregated.” Negroes could transfer from colored to desegregated elementaries, but had to “show cause” why the transfer should be granted. In the summer of 1965 a federal court ordered the district to be totally desegregated by the fall of 1967. 21 The school board then desegregated all elementaries and began token integration of the high schools.” Desegregation has not been without its negative aspects for some Negroes who prefer the old system of separate education on grounds that it is best for their neighborhoods and children and who are concerned about the loss of jobs by Negro teachers and administrators. Negroes at 24 Kountze,” East Liberty,” LaPorte, 27 28 have asked that their separate schools not be closed. And Negro attendance at formerly all-white schools has been slight where Negro schools have been kept open. Probably Texas’ rigidly racial neighborhoods account for much of this. Often Negro parents in Texas have expressed hesitancy about sending their children to integrated schools. “The children aren’t ready for integration,” a Negro parent at East Liberty said.” This spring, before the LaPorte school board, Negroes spoke of the value of neighborhood schools in protesting the closing of the Negro school. “These parents don’t have two cars to take their kids to school,” one woman said: “If a community has no school or church, it’s a very poor community,” said another.” The problem of Negro educators losing their jobs was serious for a time, particularly in the 1964-’65 and 1965-’66 school years. “The fact is,” one Negro teacher in Texas admitted, “many Negro teachers and administrators have been needed only to maintain separation of the races in schools.” An example, one of many, was the closing of a Negro junior high school last year in Big Spring. The superintendent said that only two of the school’s ten teachers would be needed to fill out the faculty at the formerly all-white junior high, despite the increase in enrollment caused by the addition of the Negro students.” And the slack was not being taken up by integrating teachers. The problem was illustrated in the summer of 1965 when a Houston Post reporter found that 20 of the 21 school superintendents” in Harris County would hesitate to integrate their faculties until they had to. At that time federal pressure on this point was slight. Most of the superintendents said they felt Negro teachers were generally not as well qualified as whites. “I’d give a Negro applicant the same consideration I’d give anybody else, but I wouldn’t hire her,” one superintendent told the Post.” By December of 1965, the National Education Association reported that 148 Negro teachers had been dismissed during the year in Texas and most of these were The Public Schools Comply
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