Race: 1976

California Supreme Court unanimously upholds Judge Alfred Gitelson’s 1970 decision in Crawford v. Board of Education, reaffirming its earlier 1963 Jackson decision.  The high court returns the case to superior court where it is assigned to Judge Paul Egly.

Race: 1978

Busing ProtestBusing ProtestIn Crawford v. Board of Education, Judge Paul Egly approves a desegregation plan involving mandatory busing of students across the vast Los Angeles school district, prompting a flurry of unsuccessful court appeals to halt the plan.

Protesting the Bakke decisionProtesting the Bakke decisionU.S. Supreme Court rules in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke that the UC Davis medical school’s specific affirmative action program is unlawful but that race can be taken into consideration as one of many factors in student admissions decisions.

Race: 1979

Voters pass Proposition 1 amending the state constitution to free school boards from any obligation to desegregate schools unless it can be proven that they had intentionally segregated students.

Race: 1981

California Supreme Court refuses to hear an appeal to an appellate court decision upholding the validity of Proposition 1, effectively ending Crawford v. Board of Education nearly 20 years after the case began.

Race: 1996

Prop 209 ProtestProp 209 ProtestCalifornia voters pass Proposition 209, which prohibits affirmative action in state programs.

Race: 2000

Young Eliazer Williams at a Press ConferenceYoung Eliazer Williams at a Press ConferenceOn the 46th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that prohibited segregated schools, a coalition of civil rights organizations files a lawsuit, Williams v. California, charging that the state is not fulfilling its constitutional mandate to provide the bare minimum infrastructure for students in 18 public schools serving largely poor children of color or immigrants. The lawsuit later expands to include one million students in all substandard California public schools.

Race: 2003

Voters reject Proposition 54, which would have banned the collection of data on race or ethnicity by any state government agency. Such data is necessary to track, prove and litigate against racial discrimination.

Race: 2004

Eli Williams and Arnold SchwarzeneggerEli Williams and Arnold Schwarzenegger

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger settles Williams v. California and provides funding for substandard schools to purchase educational materials, fix deteriorating schools, hire qualified teachers, and ensure access to textbooks and sanitary and safe campuses.

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