Lee, et al v. Randolph Bd of Ed, et al
CONSENT ORDER: the District is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DIRECTED to implement the provisions as further set out in this order. Signed by Honorable Judge Myron H. Thompson on 4/16/2013. (jg, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
ANTHONY LEE, et al.,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
RANDOLPH COUNTY BOARD OF
EDUCATION, et al.,
) CIVIL ACTION NUMBER:
This Consent Order clarifies the remaining issues to be addressed in order
for Randolph County School System (“District”) to ultimately petition the Court
for a declaration of unitary status.
The parties have agreed that the two remaining issues in the case are as
Workforce Complement Goal for Category 1 Employees;
Interim Employment of Category 1 teachers.
On December 15, 1994, a Consent Decree established a workforce goal of
23% Black Category 1 Certified Employees. Between December 15, 1994 and
March 31, 2009 the Court issued a series of orders aimed at achieving the Court’s
mandate of eliminating the vestiges of past racial discrimination and desegregating
the school system.
On March 31, 2009 the Court entered an order requiring the parties to
submit a joint report addressing “what issues remain in litigation.” On October 15,
2009, the parties filed a Joint Status Report indicating that the two remaining
desegregation issues in dispute were (1) personnel hiring and assignments and (2)
On March 31, 2011 the Court entered a Consent Order setting forth
requirements designed to resolve the outstanding issues of personnel hiring and
assignment and student discipline.
On March 15, 2013 the Court held a telephone conference. All parties to the
litigation participated in the telephone conference. The parties represented to the
Court during this telephone conference that the District had met its obligations
with respect to student discipline, and that the parties had reached an agreement on
the two remaining issues in dispute: personnel hiring and interim employment of
teachers. The parties represented to the Court during this conference that all
remaining issues in this case had been resolved.
Based on the representation of the parties made to the Court during the
conference call on March 15, 2013, the Court issued an Order on March 19, 2013
requiring the parties to submit their proposed settlement by April 1, 2013.
In an effort to avoid further litigation, the parties have engaged in good faith
negotiations and voluntarily agreed, as indicated by the signatures of their counsel
below, for entry of this Consent order to resolve the outstanding issues of
personnel hiring and assignment.
Accordingly, after reviewing the agreed to terms, the Court concludes that
entry of this Consent Order1 is consistent with the Fourteenth Amendment to the
United States Constitution and federal laws, and that its entry will further the
orderly desegregation of the Randolph County School System. Therefore, the
District is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DIRECTED to implement the
provisions set forth below.
In the December 15, 1994 Consent Decree, the Court stated, among other
things, that the percentage of Black employees in certified positions had decreased
significantly. Based on the relevant labor pool, the Court ordered, among other
Where this Consent Order conflicts with sections of prior Consent Orders of this Court, it shall supersede and
replace those sections.
things, that within four years of the entry of the 1994 Consent Decree the District
shall attain a 23% Black workforce in the category consisting of assistant
superintendent, speech therapists, nurses, special education coordinator, federal
programs coordinator, principals, assistant principals, director of vocational school,
teachers, itinerant teachers, librarians, itinerant librarians, coaches, counselors, and
itinerate counselors. Id. at 7. (Collectively referenced as “Category 1”.)
Because the District had not met the 23% goal of Black Category 1
personnel, the Court on March 3, 2011 entered a Consent Order substantially
modifying the procedures, practices and policies contained in the 1994 Consent
During the telephone conference with the Court on March 12, 2013, the
parties recommended that the Court leave in place all of the remedial steps set
forth in the Consent Decree of March 31, 2011 but change the Category 1 goal
from 23% Black to 16% Black with the following conditions: The District must
obtain the Category 1 goal of 16% Black within three years. Once the District
obtains the Category 1 goal of 16% Black, the District must maintain the Category
1 percentage of 16% Black for two consecutive years whenever that benchmark
occurs within the three-year requirement. Stated otherwise, if the District obtains
the Category percentage of 16% Black in year one after the date of this Consent
Order, the District from that date forward must maintain a Category 1 percentage
of 16% Black for two consecutive years. If the District obtains a Category 1
percentage of 16% Black in year two or year three, the District shall maintain 16%
Black Category 1 employment for two consecutive years thereafter.
Interim Employment of Teachers
Personnel decisions made by the Randolph County Board of Education must
be made in conformity with the requirements set forth in the Consent Order
adopted by the Court on March 31, 2011, and the relevant provisions of the 1994
Consent Decree that are not in conflict therewith.
While all personnel decisions made by the District must be made in
conformity with the March 31, 2011 Consent Order together with the relevant
provisions of the 1994 Consent Decree that are not in conflict therewith, the parties
requested the Court to approve a procedure regarding unanticipated teaching
vacancies at the start of each school year. When such vacancies occur at the start
of each school year, they create a significant impediment for the education
program of affected students if the teaching positions are not filled expeditiously.
Under the general requirements set forth in the March 31, 2011 Consent
Decree, a three step process for each vacancy must be followed: (1) the positions
must be posted in compliance with Ala. Code § 16-22-15; (2) receipt of
applications for the position; and (3) review and evaluation of the applicants in
accordance with the March 31, 2011 Consent Decree. Since these procedural steps
are time consuming, the parties ask the Court to approve a process that will enable
the District to fill such positions on an interim short-term basis. Given the limited
applications as proposed by the parties, the Court approves the procedure:
Interim Applicants: The employment procedure required by the Consent
Decree2 will be fully implemented in all cases for all employment positions with
the following limited exception:
if a vacancy occurs for a certified teaching
position of an academic course within two weeks of the start of school or during
the school year, the Board may employ a qualified applicant on an interim basis
not to exceed a six week period of employment.
Before employing a certified employee on an interim basis, the
Superintendent shall advise the United States Department of Justice; counsel for
Private Plaintiffs, or their designee.
When the Employment Committee reviews and evaluates the applicants for
the position filled on an interim basis, the Employment Committee may consider
the application of the person employed on an interim basis.
Employment Committee shall not consider in any manner or respect the
employment experience of the person during the interim employment.
The relevant provisions of the 1994 Consent Decree remain in effect to the extent they are not in conflict.
EFFECT OF PRIOR ORDERS
All Orders not inconsistent herewith remain in full force and effect, unless
So ORDERED, this 16th day of April, 2013.
/s/ Myron H. Thompson
United States District Judge
For the Unites States of America:
THOMAS E. PEREZ
Assistant Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Educational Opportunities Section
601 D Street, NW
Patrick Henry Building, Suite 4300
Washington, DC 20530
Counsel for the Plaintiff-Intervenor
For the Lee Plaintiffs:
For the Defendant School District:
__s/Solomon S. Seay, Jr._______
SOLOMON S. SEAY, JR.
3200 Old Wetumpka Hwy.
Montgomery, AL 36110
/s/ Donald B. Sweeney, Jr.
DONALD B. SWEENEY, JR.
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
One Federal Place
1819 Fifth Avenue North
Birmingham, AL 35203-2104
Gray Langford Sapp McGowan Gray
Gray & Nathanson PC
PO Box 830239
Tuskegee, AL 36083-0239
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