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Brown v. Board of Education

Of all the lawsuits adjudicated by the U.S. Supreme Court that impact education, few are as well-known or influential as Brown v. Board of Education (1954). This class action lawsuit directly affected public education throughout the United States in a number of different areas, including de jure segregation and school finance. The Brown ruling is universally regarded as a landmark decision from the Supreme Court and, as such, is the subject of extensive scholarly research. This entry discusses the background of the Brown case, the details of the case, the Court’s ruling, and the significance of the Brown ruling for desegregation and school finance.

History Leading to the Brown Ruling

In 1896, the Supreme Court handed down a controversial ruling in the Plessy v. Ferguson case, which ...

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