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TUCSON, Ariz. -- A federal court has approved a consent decree to resolve a decades-long battle to end racial disparity in the Tucson Unified School District.

The U.S. District Court in Tucson on Wednesday approved the decree filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, together with private plaintiffs and Pima County's largest school district.

The desegregation case originally was filed in 1974 with federal authorities intervening two years later.

Class-action lawsuits were filed against the district in 1978 on behalf of black students and Mexican-American students and employees.

Last year, a federal court in Tucson asked the parties to develop a plan to desegregate the district.

After extensive negotiations, the parties jointly submitted the four-year plan requiring the district to provide a high quality educational environment for all students.

Associated Press,

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