US, Louisiana schools reach pact in 1965 desegregation case

Officials from a Louisiana school district have reached a new agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to desegregate three nearly all-black schools in a case that dates back to 1965.

If all of the agreement's requirements are met, federal supervision of the schools in St. James Parish could end in three years.

The 27-page pact requires the St. James district to implement a new assignment plan to desegregate the three elementary schools. The district also must revise its code of conduct to ensure fairness in disciplinary matters, and will take steps to recruit a diverse pool of applicants for faculty and staff vacancies.

Court records show a federal judge approved the plan Monday.

The Justice Department said in a news release Tuesday that federal and school officials had worked "hand-in-hand" to reach the agreement.