Attempts to reach an equitable solution to the utilization of the new North Brunswick high school have failed. The boards of education of New Brunswick, North Brunswick and Milltown terminated their negotiations last night after the third meeting resulted in no appreciable progress. It will now be up to state Commission of Education.
Carl Marburger to determine how to pupil the new high school without seriously upsetting the racial balance of New Brunswick High School. New Brunswick had petitioned Marburger to resume the hearings on use of the new high school after the second joint meeting last month, Milltown has now decided to join this petition.
Marburger had threatened to enjoin construction of the school unless North Brunswick agreed to work with the city and Milltown to solve any racial imbalance the new school would cause. The city and Milltown attempted to block construction of the high school on the grounds that withdrawal of the township’s predominately white students would severely affect the racial balance in New Brunswick.
Last night, North Brunswick amplified its “area pupil assignment plan” which entails busing non-white New Brunswick students to most of the schools in the county. Mrs Christine Krauss, North Brunswick board president, said the proposal would help all area high schools avoid the "tipping point” of racial imbalance when white exodus from the community becomes accelerated and irreversible
New Brunswick again proposed its K-12 regionalization plan for the three districts, with the neighborhood school concept to be retained in the , elementary grades. Milltown resubmitted its proposal for reorganization of the high school, but it was turned down cold by North Brunswsick, according to Milltown President James Strimple, although the city was wiling to consider it.
Several revised proposals were introduced including regionalization of New Brunswick and North Brunswick with Milltown as a sending district and utilization of North Brunswick for grades nine and ten and New Brunswick for grades
11 and 12. None of them met with the approval of all three boards. Strimple called the termination of the negotiation unfortunate and said Milltown believed a compromise could have been reached. Calling the North Brunswick proposal a possible long, range solution which might have merit, Strimple said it cannot feasibly be implemented in the near future, if ever.
He added that Milltown does not think a K-13 regionalization plan is the adequate answer either. New Brunswick President Eli L. Saltz had called the North Brunswick proposal a ‘‘step backward” when it was introduced last month.
The proposal, billed as an inexpensive permanent solution which will ensure educational quality and county-wide racial balance, entails busing at least 50-60 non-white New Brunswick students to each of the surrounding area high schools.
Students would complete four years in the high school where they were assigned. The township feels its proposal is in line with recent court decisions calling for city-suburb integration to prevent resegregation as whites flee the cities.
The proposal is based on the contention that the white student population of North Brunswick and Milltown cannot offset the imbalance in New Brunswick and prevent the , school’s population from reaching the tipping point, on either a combined or regional plan.
The tipping point has been variously set between a 30 and 40 per cent non-white enrollment. New Brunswick’s nonwhite student population in September 1070 was 33.9 per cent at the secondary level and 69.2 per cent at the elementary level.
The meeting lasted about two and a half hours. North Brunswick wanted to continue the meetings, but the other two boards refused. North Brunswick plans to open its new high school in September 1972 with tenth grade students.