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During the 1970s, officials in several boards of education in Ohio responded to allegations that they consciously engaged in racial discrimination by creating and perpetuating dual school systems. The resulting litigation placed Ohio in the judicial forefront of Northern school desegregation cases, wherein school boards sought to limit the circumstances under which federal courts could mandate districtwide school desegregation remedies.

Columbus Board of Education v. Penick (1979) was one of those landmark cases that made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. As evidence of the ongoing desegregation litigation in Ohio, Columbus was handed down on the same day as Dayton Board of Education v. Brinkman II (1979), owing to the similarity of facts and legal questions that the two cases generated.

Facts of the Case

The dispute ...

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