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Court: Racial imbalance in Minnesota schools must be 'substantial factor' to violate Constitution

School segregation alone doesn't violate the Minnesota Constitution, but it might if that racial imbalance is a "substantial factor" in an inadequate education, according to the state Supreme Court.

The ruling released Wednesday in the long-running Cruz-Guzman lawsuit against the state sets the legal parameters for the case in Hennepin County District Court.

"We hold that racial imbalances in Minneapolis and Saint Paul public schools, standing alone, are not sufficient to establish a violation of the Education Clause," Associate Justice Margaret Chutich wrote in the majority opinion. The plaintiffs don't have to prove the state caused the segregation, but "they must prove that racially imbalanced schools are a substantial factor in causing their children to receive an inadequate education."


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