YONKERS, N.Y. — The state will pump $300 million into the heavily minority Yonkers school system as part of a tentative agreement in a 21-year-old school desegregation lawsuit.
The money, to be spread over five years, would be used to raise achievement, reduce class size, renovate school buildings and lengthen the school day and year.
The deal, announced Tuesday, requires the approval of U.S. District Judge Leonard Sand, who in 1985 ordered the city to desegregate its school system and build subsidized housing in predominantly white sections of the city, just north of New York City. The case had been filed five years earlier by the Justice Department and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Under the tentative deal, the city and the NAACP "agreed to disagree" on the issue of segregation, NAACP attorney Michael Sussman said.
The 26,000-student district, strapped for funds as it struggled to keep up with federal mandates, will use some of the money to plug a $57 million budget gap and avoid layoffs. The city will receive $70 million this year, Pataki said.
The city's housing desegregation case — which attracted national attention in 1988 when four city councilmen refused the judge's orders — is linked to the schools case but is unaffected by the agreement. The U.S. Supreme Court last month refused to interfere with the latest plan to integrate the city's neighborhoods.