of the background of this litigation.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1. Plaintiffs include Addrallace Knight and Barbara Smith.
2. Plaintiff Addrallace Knight is a black woman who has resided in the Borough of Braddock, Pennsylvania, for 20 years and is the mother of three children presently enrolled in the public schools of the General Braddock Area School District in grades 2, 4 and 12, of three children formerly enrolled and still eligible to be enrolled in the public schools of the General Braddock School District, and of two children in college who graduated from the School Districts of Braddock and the General Braddock Area, respectively.
T. 2, T. 30.
3. Plaintiff Barbara Smith is a black woman who has resided in the Borough of Braddock for 28 years and is the mother of children enrolled in the public schools of the General Braddock Area School District in grades 3, 4, 5, 9, 10 and 11. T. 63, 64.
4. Plaintiffs Addrallace Knight and Barbara Smith instituted this suit to alter the boundaries of the General Braddock Area School District. T. 30, 63.
5. Named Plaintiffs bring the suit as a class action on behalf of all parents and children residing in the boroughs of Braddock, North Braddock and Rankin. Named Plaintiffs' claims are typical of the claims of the class and named Plaintiffs will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class. T. 40, 46, 100, 101.
6. Defendant Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has the duty under Article III, Section 14 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, P.S., to maintain and support a thorough and efficient public school system. (Paragraph 35 of Plaintiffs' Complaint, Admitted.)
7. Defendant Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has the ultimate power, authority and responsibility to create school districts and to establish and alter boundaries of the areas served by said school districts. (Paragraph 36 of Plaintiffs' Complaint, Admitted.)
8. Defendant Pennsylvania State Board of Education ["State Board"] is a state administrative board charged with the general supervision and control of the educational interests of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Defendant W. Deming Lewis is the Chairman of that Board. (Paragraphs 33 and 34 of Plaintiffs' Complaint, Admitted.)
9. Defendant Allegheny Intermediate Unit Board of School Directors is an administrative body which became operative as of July 1, 1971 and is charged with providing the essential services formally provided by the Allegheny County Board of School Directors ["County Board"] and with the administration of the program of services of Intermediate Unit 3 comprising all school districts in the County of Allegheny outside of the City of Pittsburgh, and Defendant Edward X. Hallenberg is the President of such Board. (Paragraphs 38(b) and 38(c) of Plaintiffs' Complaint, Admitted.)
B. School Reorganization Legislation and Standards.
10. During the 1960's the Pennsylvania Legislature on three occasions enacted legislation to reorganize the administrative units (i.e. school districts) in Pennsylvania's public school systems.
(a) the first Act -- the Act of September 12, 1961, P.L. 1283, No. 561, 24 P.S. § 2-281 et seq. (Act 561) -- directed each county board of school directors to prepare on or before January 1, 1963 a plan of organization of administrative units for the County for review by the State Council of Education. 24 P.S. §§ 2-282, 2-283.
(b) Act 561 was superseded by the Act of August 8, 1963, P.L. 564, No. 299, 24 P.S. § 2-290 et seq. (Act 299). Act 299 directed each county board of school directors to prepare on or before July 1, 1964 a plan of organization of administrative units for the county and directed the State Council of Basic Education to review organization plans prepared by the county boards and to approve such plans as it deemed wise in the best interest of the educational system of the Commonwealth, provided that these plans met certain requirements specified in Act 299. 24 P.S. §§ 2-292, 2-293. S. 2. In preparing reorganization plans pursuant to Act 299, the county boards were not bound by any proposals contained in reorganization plans prepared pursuant to Act 561, 24 P.S. § 2-292. In dealing with school districts which had previously entered into a written agreement for the establishment of a joint school or department, however, the county boards were prohibited from proposing any administrative units which in whole or in part comprised less than all of the school districts joined by such agreement. 24 P.S. § 2-292.
(c) Act 299 was superseded by the Act of July 8, 1968, P.L. 299, No. 150, 24 P.S. § 2400.1 et seq. (Act 150). Act 150 directed each county board of education to prepare within 90 days a plan of organization of administrative units limited to those school districts within the county which were not in an administrative unit established as a school district under Act 299. 24 P.S. § 2400.2. S. 14.
11. Acts 299 and 150 both provided for the plan of organization of administrative units to conform to standards for approval of administrative units adopted by the State Board and directed the State Board to prepare such standards, taking into account the following factors: topography, pupil population, community characteristics, transportation of pupils, use of existing buildings, existing administrative units, potential population changes and the capability of providing a comprehensive plan of education. 24 P.S. §§ 2400.1 and 2400.2; 24 P.S. §§ 2-291 and 2-292. Both Acts also provided that no plan of organization of administrative units should include any proposed school district with a pupil population of less than 4000 unless the factors listed above were considered by the State Board (or Council of Basic Education) as requiring approval of a plan in which any district contained a pupil population of less than 4000. 24 P.S. § 2400.3, 24 P.S. § 2-293.
12. Pursuant to the above provisions of Acts 299 and 150, the State Board adopted Standards for Approval of Administrative Units. These Standards, inter alia provided that:
(a) An administrative unit shall make available an educational program and educational opportunities to meet the varying needs, aptitudes, abilities, and interests of individuals residing in the administrative unit.
(b) Consideration should be given to whether a geographic area has developed the characteristics of a community. Community, as used here, includes one or more municipalities and the surrounding territory from where people came for business, social, recreational, fraternal or similar reasons. Neither race or religion shall be a factor in determining administrative unit boundaries and differences in the social and economic level of the population shall not be a basis to determine these boundaries.