A new chapter in the Tangipahoa Parish School System began on Wednesday, as district leaders received word that the federal court granted them provisional unitary status in one of the country’s last-remaining school desegregation cases.
U.S. Eastern District Court Judge Ivan Lemelle signed a court document declaring provisional unitary status to the Tangipahoa Parish School System in its longstanding and landmark federal desegregation suit, which dates back to 1965. In the 44-page court document which includes a nine-page attachment, Lemelle credits open communication between the opposing parties, collaboration, and Superintendent Melissa Stilley’s “team-oriented approach” to problem-solving as “vital to TPSS’ current successes” in meeting the goals outlined for the district in resolving this longstanding case.
Stilley said the district has strived for decades to reach a resolution to the complaints filed by the Moore family on behalf of so many underprivileged and underserved children. She said this ruling shows that the people of Tangipahoa Parish have worked together to make their public schools better.
Judge Lemelle said the school system’s current record of good faith and compliance could not be ignored.