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Jones School's Future Comes Up For Airing

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Jones School’s Future Comes Up For Airing

Thursday June 20, 1963

The Ann Arbor Board of Education last night expressed concern over the problem of segregation at Jones Elementary School after hearing its subcommittee report on the school. The lengthy report, which as not released in full to the public because it was a working document and, in the school board’s opinion, might tend to “confuse the situation,” will be the basis of further consideration by a committee of school officials and others.

This committee, which will probably seek a solution of not only the Jones School problem but other areas of concern, will be given an Oct. 1 deadline.

Membership of the committee will be decided on by the school board at its next meeting.

Once the committee reports, Jones School parents, staff and, others will be asked for their reactions.

Trustee Lloyd T. Williams, jr., a member of the subcommittee, said that its studies indicated that the school-age population in the Jones area would remain fairly constant for a few more years, but that it was a segregated school and steps should be taken to desegregate it.

In contrast, Perry Elementary Schools studies revealed school-age children are expected to decline in that area. The decision to close Perry School and reassign children elsewhere was rescinded by the school board because of the crowded conditions, at other schools.

Some possible solutions to the Jones problem noted during the discussion of aspects of the report included a redistricting of the area, busing children to Jones School, or busing certain grades or the entire school population to four or five other schools.

Trustee James Crippen suggested that as long as the school board was looking at the Jones situation, it should also take notice that Mack Elementary School meets the board’s definition of a segregated school.

Trustee Albert Coudron said that his subcommittee was aware of Mack’s problems, but that it felt it ought to take care of the immediate need first.

Trustee Robert W. Harrington said he realSed that there were . valid reasons for closing Jones School because it was obvious that the area doesn’t have a future as a residential area.

Albert H. Wheeler, a member of local chapter of the National Association for Advancement of Colored People, said that the NAACP was gratified that the Board of Education is seriously looking at the problem. He said that whatever the board does, somebody is going to be discomforted.

In response to a question as to plans for assimilating any more Negro teachers into the system. President Rhea Kish said that any applicant for a teaching position is hired if she meets the qualifications of the school system. She said that the system has no way of knowing whether he is Negro or white when he submits a written application.

In other action, President Kish appointed Trustees Williams, Harrington and N. Edd Miller to a committee to prepare a resolution for the board’s adoption on the fair housing ordinance now up before the City Council.