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School desegregation -- a job about half done

For more than a quarter of a century the US courts have gone about the business of desegregating America's schools, and today the job is about half done.

Of all the nation's 4.9 million nonwhite children, 54 percent attend desegregated schools. Most of these students live in the South where segregation once seemed most entrenched.

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In the big cities of the Northeast and North Central regions, most nonwhites go to schools that have black majorities. There is little evidence that school systems can be desegregated in cities such as Chicago, which has an 80 percent black student population.

In all, the courts have ordered 711 school districts to desegregate and 922 other districts have worked out voluntary plans, totaling a little more than 10 percent of the natio n's 15,715 districts.

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