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Consent decrees in educational disputes are negotiated equitable agreements between plaintiffs and defendants in elementary and secondary school settings and in higher education. They involve a wide array of issues, such as desegregation and special education, wherein courts accept the agreed-on settlements. In consent decrees in education, defendants, usually school boards or other educational entities, agree to discontinue specified illegal activities such as segregation based on race, disability, or gender. In fact, consent decrees are not so much judicial orders but rather more properly judicially approved agreements between the parties that are binding only on the parties to the agreement.

Following Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954), wherein the Supreme Court struck down segregation in public schools based on race as violating the Equal ...

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