Bradley Documents

  • Bradley – A Brief Summary

    In 1964, the Plaintiffs filed a federal court class action against the Pinellas County School Board in order to desegregate the public schools of the county. This case, known as Bradley, et al. v. Pinellas County School Board, et al., or just Bradley, was litigated for many years as the District moved toward racial integration of its schools. The court looked at several issues that impacted what is known as “Unitary Status” of school districts, meaning that a school district was operating a racially unitary, as opposed to a dual, system of public education. These issues are known as the “Green Factors,” named after a U.S. Supreme Court case. In addition to the Green Factors, the parties agreed to discuss other issues known as “Quality of Education” issues, including student achievement and student discipline.

    In the late 1990’s and into the year 2000, the parties came to agreement on all issues and agreed that the District had achieved Unitary Status. On August 16, 2000, the court approved all of the agreements that the parties signed. The court also dismissed the lawsuit and withdrew federal supervision of the District, subject only to the possible need to revisit the case in order to enforce the parties’ settlement agreements. The August 16, 2000, court order incorporated the prior agreements and court orders dated August 30, 1999, December 17, 1999, and June 28, 2000. Thus, these latter three documents are part of the August 16, 2000, court order.

    One of the provisions of the final court order was that the Plaintiffs could write to the School Board and claim that it is not living up to its obligations in the settlement agreements. If this was done, then the parties would meet informally or more formally in mediation in an attempt to resolve the dispute. If no resolution could be reached, then additional levels of review would apply. This process is known as Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”). In 2006, the Plaintiffs invoked the ADR process and the parties met informally and in mediation periodically from that time through early 2013, when the ADR process concluded. These meetings have resulted in a series of Memoranda of Understanding (“MOU’s") in certain Green Factor and Quality of Education areas. These MOU’s do not expand the Board’s obligations under the settlement agreements and court orders, but rather describe in more detail what it will do to implement its obligations in these areas. The five MOU’s are available for review via the link to the right.