This is the site where Jose Cisneros' daughter, Christine, attended elementary school. In 6th grade, Christine told Cisneros about the poor condition Prescott was in. There were worn down bathrooms, old curriculum, and not enough teachers compared to the number of students. When Cisneros spoke to CCISD Board members about getting more funding and equipment, he was shot down. He and other parents of Prescott students joined together and filed the lawsuit against CCISD, supported by the United Steelworkers Union.
v. Board case in 1954 ruled that segregating students based on racial
bias was unconstitutional. Since Mexican-Americans were legally
considered white, many schools would put Mexican-American and African
American students together so that the courts would consider them
integrated. Many activists were empowered by the victory of the Brown v.
Board and wanted to fight against their unjust systems. Jose Cisneros and
others in the United Steelworkers Union joined together in 1968, and filed
a class-action lawsuit against the Corpus Christi Independent School
District. They argued that the school board discriminated against
Mexican-American and African American students forcing them to go to
schools separate from Anglos.
Jose Cisneros was displeased when his daughter went into the
sixth grade and told him about how bad the conditions were in the school. When
he discussed it among other parents, they agreed on the matter. Cisneros
and 25 other Mexican-American and African American families filed the
case against CCISD on July 22, 1968. They argued that the primarily white
schools received better equipment and more funding than schools that were
primarily Mexican American and African American.
The courts ruled in favor of Cisneros, and ordered the school district
to create a unitary, desegregated school system. CCISD was able to delay
desegregation multiple times. The original solution decided upon by the court
was forced busing. When the plaintiffs and defendants of the case agreed that
busing wasn't working, the court switched to allowing
majority-to-minority transfers and creating special emphasis schools and
programs. Busing used a computer-generated list of randomly-selected
students and transferred them to a school where their ethnicity was the minority.
Majority-to-minority transfers allowed a student could choose transfer to a
school where they were the racial minority. Special emphasis schools took
had a majority of low-scoring students and provided special programs
designed to better educate them. At the end of the case, both parties agreed
that the majority-to-minority transfers and the special emphasis schools were
good for the students and successful in desegregation.