THE Justice Department is today announcing the Government's decision to take an appeal on limited constitutional grounds in the case of the United States v. Austin Independent School District, involving school desegregation.
The Attorney General advises me that he must appeal the District Court's decision that the school board's plan to bus children periodically for interracial experiences eliminates the dual school system, because that decision is inconsistent with recent rulings of the United States Supreme Court. The Justice Department is not appealing to impose the HEW plan. In the process of the appeal, the Justice Department will disavow that plan on behalf of the Government.
I would also like to restate my position as it relates to busing. I am against busing as that term is commonly used in school desegregation cases. I have consistently opposed the busing of our Nation's schoolchildren to achieve a racial balance, and I am opposed to the busing of children simply for the sake of busing. Further, while the executive branch will continue to enforce the orders of the court, including court-ordered busing, I have instructed the Attorney General and the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare that they are to work with individual school districts to hold busing to the minimum required by law.
Finally, I have today instructed the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare to draft and submit today to the Congress an amendment to the proposed Emergency School Assistance Act that will expressly prohibit the expenditure of any of those funds for busing.