District 186 says it's working hard to hire more minority teachers and administrators. Still, the percentage of minorities in those roles is only half of what it should be according to a decades old desegregation order. And the Springfield branch of the NAACP says it's preparing for a potential lawsuit.
About 9 percent of teachers in district 186 are black. A 2010 census put the amount of blacks residents around 18 percent. A federal desegregation order says the numbers should match up. "We're doing what we can to recruit minorities. And we're not going to run out and change our game plan because any one person or one group came out and put some pressure on the district," interim superintendent for district 186, Bob Leming, told WUIS. He says the district is challenged in meeting the
order because positions are being cut - and the pool of minority applicants isn't always sufficient.
Teresa Haley, who heads the Springfield branch of the NAACP says the district isn't trying hard enough. She says this about chances of a lawsuit: "It's a strong possibility for the simple reason that it's been ... almost 40 years and we're not in compliance (of the desegregation order)." The district could face fines if a lawsuit was successful.
CLICK HERE to see a recent report presented to the District 186 school board regarding the desegregation order and the current status of minority hires.