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Superior judge rules in highly controversial school segregation case

The judge left both sides wondering what the next move is.

On Friday, a state superior court judge ruled in a highly anticipated case about the high rates of racial segregation in New Jersey schools. The court found the state failed to address the racial imbalance or remedy the situation. But the judge also rejected the plaintiff’s claims of a statewide pattern of segregation and the argument that New Jersey needs to address segregation based on student poverty.

The lawsuit was filed in 2018 by a group of families and education advocates, arguing that the state policy requiring students to attend school where they live violates their constitutional rights to an education free of segregation.

“[The judge’s] ruling reinforces that segregation is a significant problem in New Jersey’s public schools,” said the plaintiffs’ lead attorney Larry Lustberg. “It reinforces that it’s the state’s obligation to address that. It’s clear that home rule is no excuse for it, and it finds a tremendous number of facts in our favor.”

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