ECISD Desegregation Battle Reaches Settlement

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - After about 30-years of bickering, finally some agreement on a desegregation fight in the Ector County School District. Officials spent most of their meeting on Tuesday night ironing out the details. It took a little over an hour during closed session for the Ector County Board of Trustees to make their decision.

This new settlement puts to rest a 30-year federal court battle over de-segregation.

Here's what they decided: the Tri-Ethnic committee will take on a new role meaning those members will be divided up into four task forces. Each of those groups will focus on: the gifted and talented programs, bilingual education, recruiting minority faculty, and growth.
Those committee members are made up of multiple ethnicities from across the community who will be responsible for reporting directly to the administration.

"We are so happy," Dr. Donna Smith, President, ECISD Board of Trustees, said. "This is a monumental, history-making moment. I feel humbled and happy that this conflict which has endured for so many years has finally found a resolution. It's not just a resolution where people are ok with it. People are genuinely enthused and optimistic."

"I think it's a sign that this community has come a long way," Gene Collins, CRUCIAL, Tri-Ethnic Committee, said. "We can get in a room and respect the ideas of other people and come up with a solution that works."

This settlement also states that if another high school is needed, the district will consider Ector as a possibility. The next step for the district will be for the school board to send the agreement to the attorneys then onto the federal judge.