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SPENCER v. KUGLER

May 13, 1971

Vivian SPENCER et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
George F. KUGLER, Attorney General of New Jersey, Carl Marburger, Commissioner of Education and the State Board of Education of the State of New Jersey, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WORTENDYKE

This action was commenced on August 18, 1970 by the filing of a complaint by Vivian Spencer and Geraldine Chavis by their respective guardians ad litem against George F. Kugler, Attorney General of New Jersey, Carl Marburger, Commissioner of Education, and the State Board of Education of the State.

This Court's jurisdiction is invoked under: (a) 28 U.S.C. § 1331, as arising under § 1 of Amendment 14 of the United States Constitution; (b) 28 U.S.C. § 1343 to redress the alleged deprivation under color of the law of New Jersey of rights secured by § 1 of Amendment 14 of the same constitution, and (c) §§ 1981, 1983 and 1988 of 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 2000a et seq. (The Civil Rights Act of 1964).

 Defendant Kugler is Attorney General of New Jersey charged with enforcement of the laws. Defendant Marburger is Commissioner of Education of New Jersey and the State Board of Education is a public body charged with the supervision of Public Schools in that State.

 Plaintiffs allege that the public schools of New Jersey are "racially imbalanced" which "violates the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and deprives the plaintiffs and the class they represent of federally guaranteed rights" and they "will be irreparably harmed if another school year commences without correction of the aforementioned condition."

 Plaintiffs demand judgment:

 
1. Directing defendants to terminate the racial segregation of the New Jersey schools "forthwith".
 
2. Directing defendants to file a plan with this Court (a) to correct the racial imbalance of the schools "at the start of the semester immediately after the entry of judgment herein"; (b) to provide compensatory education in those districts which are racially imbalanced immediately and/or to provide funding for said programs.
 
3. Directing defendants to cease and desist from continuing a segregated system of public schools.

 In the second count the allegations of the first count are incorporated by reference. "The schools * * * are racially imbalanced by reason of N.J.S. 18A:8-1 to 42 and N.J.S. 18A:38-1 to 24 which sets school district boundaries thereby rendering racial balance mathematically impossible in many districts, thus providing unequal educational opportunities. The State has taken no steps to achieve racial balance by reason of the mathematical composition of the geographical area which comprises the school district, has not attempted to redraw school district lines to achieve racial balance, has not provided funds for compensatory education to overcome adverse educational effects of racial imbalance." The State has failed to act "in the foregoing area in violation of the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution and the civil rights of the plaintiffs and the class they represent. The State is obligated to integrate all the schools or to provide compensatory education in those districts which it does not integrate. The school districts lacked the power to achieve racial balance."

 Plaintiffs contend they and the class they represent will be irreparably harmed if another school year commences without correction of the aforementioned condition.

 Relief prayed:

 
(a) Convention of three judge court
 
(b) Judgment enjoining defendant from continuing said system of schools
 
(c) Declaratory judgment declaring N.J.S. 18A:8-1 to 42 and 18A:38-1 to 24 unconstitutional
 
(d) Permanent injunction against enforcement of N.J.S. 18A:8-1 to 42 and 18A:38-1 to 24
 
(e) Judgment directing defendants to redraw school district lines and submit a plan for new school district lines to be in effect prior to the opening of schools for the next semester immediately following entry of judgment herein
 
(f) Judgment directing defendants to submit a plan for providing compensatory education to those districts which are racially imbalanced immediately and/or ...

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