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April 08, 2010 4:45 PM Georgia Colleges

By Daniel Luzer

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Education in Georgia: apparently still segregated. So charges the NAACP. According to an article by Jacqueline Holness for Courthouse News Service:

The NAACP claims Georgia continues to have a two-track system of higher education, one for white students and a lesser one for blacks. The plaintiffs, which include students at Savannah State and Fort Valley State, say Georgia’s highest-ranking officials “have never dismantled the dual system of public higher education and have taken affirmative action to perpetuate racial dualism in public higher education.”

Apparently more than 90 percent of students attending Georgia’s historically black public colleges are still black and more than 90 percent of students at Georgia’s historically white public colleges are still white.

Statistics alone don’t indicate legal problems, however. Segregation, in fact, was a legal system that prevented blacks and whites from using the same public institutions. The fact that historically black and white institutions might not be integrated is deplorable, and might even be the sort of thing that calls for a significant public policy effort, but it’s not necessarily illegal.

According to the article, the lawsuit “claims the state failed to take appropriate measures at historically black colleges, including allocating capital funds for facility improvements, implementing academic programs and establishing professional, specialized and doctoral programs - which would attract white students to the schools.”

The state’s flagship school, the historically white University of Georgia, is today a little less than eight percent black. About 30 percent of Georgia’s total population is black.

Read the lawsuit here.[Upper right: the Georgia state flag, 1956-2001. Image via]

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer