Prior to the 1920s, the state of California authorized local school districts to educate Native American children in ““separate but equal”” facilities where there was no federal Indian school in the vicinity. In 1923 seven Indian children in Inyo County attempted to enroll in a public school instead of attending the poorer quality local Indian day school. The state Supreme Court, in Piper v. Big Pine School District (1924), ruled in their favor. The case was central to ending segregation in California’’s public schools.

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