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Justice Gary S. Stein Quoted in Article on New Jersey School Segregation


Justice Gary S. Stein quoted in The Courier-Post, “NJ school segregation suit seeking big changes.” The article explains what advocates are doing for a dramatic change in public education.

"The world has changed," said Gary s. Stein, a re¬tired state Supreme Court associate justice and foun¬der of the coalition. "There is far more acceptance of the notion that interaction between different racial and ethnic groups in society is commonplace."

Stein's 17-year tenure on the court, from 1985 to 2002, was marked by several high-profile cases, including several of the contentious Abbott v. Burke school funding rulings that focused primarily on public funding for the state's poorest districts, not their racial makeup.

It was only years after leaving the bench and after reading the research that he became "appalled" at the "extreme" public school segregation.

"I couldn't believe it," Stein said in an interview. "I mean, New Jersey, a progressive state in the Northeast, should have this intense segregation. I just thought it was dead wrong. I began making calls."

Stein, who served as Gov. Thomas H. Kean's policy and planning director before joining the court in 1985, said a lengthier slog through the courts now appears inevitable - and necessary.

"We can't achieve this simply by lobbying for it," he said. "The only way to achieve is to get a ruling from the court that is binding on the state and will force the state to take steps to fix it."

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