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1865-1877 1878-1895 1896-1915 1916-1931 1932-1944 1945-1953 1954-1972 1973-1982 1983-1993 1994-Present
Advancing Creative Solutions to Assure Fairness and Excellence in Education

Only 9 percent of South Carolinas poor and near-poor 8th grade students scored proficient or advanced in reading in 1998, while 29 percent of students from middle-class and affluent families scored proficient or better.
Miles To Go South Carolina (2002)


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1973SEF helps underwrite the first National Conference on Testing In Education and Employment to examine their effects on African Americans and supports a Southern project on educational testing.
US Supreme Court holds in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez that the wealth-based inequalities in the Texas school finance system do not violate the federal equal protection clause and that public education is not a fundamental right under the US constitution. As a result, virtually all school finance litigation will shift to state courts.
1974SEF works with NAACP Legal Defense Fund in developing a Southern strategy to accelerate effective and fair desegregation in higher education across the South.
US Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) accepts university desegregation plans from eight states--Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. HEW officials reject Mississippi's plan and sue Louisiana, which refuses to submit a plan.
1975SEF publishes "Financial Barriers To Equal Access in Higher Education," detailing the huge role of need-based financial aid for students from low-income families.
Southern states continue to expand two-year colleges in an effort to make college accessible.
1976US Supreme Court rules that tax-exempt private schools excluding African Americans on the basis of race--most in the South--may lose their tax-exemption.
1977SEF makes a grant to Atlanta University for support of summer science, math, and engineering programs for high school juniors and seniors.
1978US Supreme Court hands down its Bakke decision which invalidates a special admission program for Black students at the University of California Medical School but also upholds the right of schools to take race into account as a factor in admissions decisions.
1980SEF supports the emerging child development programs at several HBCUs across the South.
1981President Ronald Reagan takes office opposed to expanding the federal role in education. He has campaigned for the abolishment of the recently created U.S. Department of Education. During Reagan's first five years, federal funding for education will decline 21 percent.
1982 SEF initiates a public policy program to address problems of inequitable opportunities and resources for public education.
US Congress renews the Voting Rights Act of 1965 over initial opposition from the Reagan Administration. The Act will continue to enable Black voters to elect the candidates of their choice for school boards and other positions.
The Mississippi legislature passes the state Education Reform Act proposed by newly elected Governor William Winter. It is one of the first in a new wave of education reform in the South that emphasizes goals and standards.
Passages (click to view)