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The highest performing school district in the state of Florida, St. Johns County schools, still has an open desegregation order. I submitted FOI requests with the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida and the St. Johns County school district to obtain records and information needed for the story. Records show currently the majority of students in the St. Johns County school district are white but the district is now fully integrated and complies with the federal order. I learned that that the federal government has been inconsistent in its monitoring of the open desegregation orders in Florida. After my story aired, the St. Johns County school district has said they are working with the federal government to have the desegregation order closed.
An investigation by the Birmingham News revealed that "nearly half of the $1.4 million that the Jefferson County Commission said it needs to finish a court-ordered sewer overhaul would be used for projects that have nothing to do with the federal order." In 1997, county officials launched the sewer repair program, estimated at the time to cost about $1 billion. "The program's cost has more than trippled now, now estimated in excess of $3 billion... The county, with little fanfare, launched its most aggressive sewer expansion program while also complying with the court order."