Busing Reappraisal

December 26, 1975

Report Outline
Opposition to Busing for Integration
Black Struggle for Quality Education
Proposals to Remedy Current Situation
Special Focus

Opposition to Busing for Integration

Emotionalism Views on Issue in Election-Year Politics

Busing to overcome racial segregation is a troublesome issue that refuses to go away. The emotions that busing generated in the 1972 presidential campaign are still alive as the nation enters another election year. And the same arguments that have been heard since the courts began ordering busing are being voiced with increasing passion as more districts outside the South are forced to desegregate. Busing, it is said, destroys neighborhood schools, forces youngsters to travel long distances to hostile environments, places them in uncomfortable and dangerous situations where learning is virtually impossible, removes parental control over their education and discriminates against the urban poor.

A new study conducted by a man once closely identified with arguments for school integration, University of Chicago sociologist James A. Coleman, now threatens to undermine the premise behind busing—that the integration of black and white children in the classroom will improve the test scores of Negro pupils. The study seemed to confirm a widespread belief that white parents will take their youngsters out of schools where busing is mandated, thereby causing resegregation. Many of the people who once supported busing as educationally and socially beneficial to both races are questioning or even forsaking it as a remedy.

For the 1976 presidential contenders, outright advocacy of busing for desegregation is considered political suicide. Public-opinion polls indicate that the vast majority of Americans strongly oppose such busing. In a recent national survey, the Gallup organization found that only 18 per cent of those interviewed favored busing. Whites rejected it by a margin of 75 to 15 per cent and blacks by 47 to 40 per cent. Seventy-two per cent of those contacted said they would support a constitutional amendment to prohibit it.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Segregation and Desegregation
Apr. 23, 2004  School Desegregation
Oct. 18, 1996  Rethinking School Integration
Feb. 24, 1995  Housing Discrimination
Dec. 26, 1975  Busing Reappraisal
May 03, 1974  Desegregation After 20 Years
Aug. 24, 1973  Educational Equality
Sep. 06, 1972  Blacks on Campus
Mar. 01, 1972  School Busing and Politics
Aug. 16, 1967  Open Housing
Apr. 29, 1964  School Desegregation: 1954–1964
Feb. 06, 1963  Interracial Housing
Aug. 27, 1958  School Integration: Fifth Year
Jan. 15, 1958  Residential Desegregation
Oct. 16, 1957  Legal Processes in Race Relations
Oct. 17, 1956  Enforcement of School Integration
Jan. 12, 1955  School Desegregation
Sep. 03, 1954  Segregation in Churches
Oct. 08, 1952  Race Segregation
Nov. 07, 1947  Negro Segregation
Civil Rights: African Americans
Elementary and Secondary Education
Segregation and Desegregation