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Advancing Creative Solutions to Assure Fairness and Excellence in Education

If Arkansas leaders today will go the extra miles and make extra investments in education, the state can finally go the distance. It wont be easy, but Arkansas can become as prosperous as the nation with a quality of life second to none.
Miles To Go Arkansas: Update (2003)

Quest for Equality

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1945SEF implements strategies to "stimulate the employment of Black personnel" in Southern state departments of education.
1947SEF headquarters moves from Washington, DC to Atlanta.
1948SEF begins leadership programs to support "State Agents for Negro Education" as advocates for Black education in Southern state governments.
The University of Oklahoma admits its first African American student into the law school after the US Supreme Court rules that one race must receive equal educational opportunities as soon as another race.
1949Federal Judge H. Church Ford rules that the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution requires the University of Kentucky must admit African American students to its graduate schools until comparable courses were made available in state-supported public Black colleges. A year later, 12 African Americans will begin their studies at the university.
1950SEF makes grants to introduce audio-visual equipment and materials into more Black schools.
In Sweatt v. Painter the US Supreme Court rules that Herman Sweatt, an African American, must be admitted to the University of Texas law school despite the existence of another state-supported law school or Black school in the state. The Court also ruled in the Oklahoma case that a Black student could not be educated in a segregated classroom in the law school.
Over the next three years, professional and graduate schools in the border South states will begin to admit their first Black students. This includes schools in Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, and Maryland.
1951Deep South governors begin to declare public defiance of the Supreme Court orders.
Georgia Governor Herman E. Talmadge: "As long as I am governor, Negroes will not be admitted to white schools."
South Carolina Governor (and former US Supreme Court justice) James F. Byrnes: "We will, if it is possible, live within the law and at the same time maintain segregation. If that is not possible, reluctantly we will abandon the public school system."
Mississippi Governor Fielding L. Wright: "We shall insist upon segregation, regardless of the cost or consequences."
1952 SEF starts graduate training program for African American principals. The program helps to integrate Southern state universities.
Southern states rush to equalize school expenditures and teacher pay in order to avoid a Supreme Court decision outlawing segregation.
1953SEF becomes the home for a team of researchers sponsored by the Ford Foundation to compile a definitive study of the conditions of Black education in the South in anticipation of the US Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education. No Southern state university would accept the research project.
Dr. Rufus Clement, president of Atlanta University, is elected to the school board as the first African American in a citywide race where White voters constitute a clear majority.
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