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Money, Not Race, Fuels New Push to Buoy Schools

For several years, two lawyers intent on helping black children do as well in school as white children had a kind of roadshow: Michael A. Rebell would describe the recent successes of state-court litigation, forcing more financing for poor children’s schools, as a matter of basic equity. But James Ryan would argue that integration was the best approach.

“We’d do these panels and discussions, and he’d say equity lawsuits were a cop-out, that integration is the only way to address the racial gap,” said Mr. Rebell, executive director of the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College at Columbia University. “I’d say funding is important because money matters. It doesn’t guarantee good educational outcomes, but without it you can almost guarantee there won’t be good outcomes.”

This article appeared in the June 30, 2007 edition of the New York Times. previous page