U46 officials: No discussion about segregation in ’04 boundary changes (Sun-Times Media)

by Emily McFarlan Miller

CHICAGO — It was “the smoothest opening of the school year in every way,” according to Jim Feuerborn, then-assistant superintendent of management services in School District U46.

The buses had picked up and dropped off students on time, Feuerborn said. The books and lunches all were where they needed to be.

And that came at the start of the 2004-05 school year, as major boundary changes took effect in the Elgin school district and it recovered from a financial crisis discovered in summer 2002.

Feuerborn, who has been a consultant to the district since retiring in 2005, and several former U46 administrators testified Tuesday about the circumstances around those boundary changes in the racial discrimination trial against the state’s second-largest school district.

Lawsuit’s claims

That lawsuit alleges U46 discriminated against black and Hispanic students in its 2004 school boundary plan by placing them in overcrowded schools. It also alleges the district did not offer students who were black and Hispanic access to its gifted and academy programs or appropriate help to English Language Learner (ELL) students.

The two-year boundary change process was “very public” and did not include discussions about segregation or isolating students, according to John Prince, former chief financial officer and chief operating officer of U46.

For the rest of the story, read U46 officials: No discussion about segregation in ’04 boundary changes (Sun-Times Media).