The enrollment of black students in predominantly white Southern schools rises to 33% from one-tenth of one percent in 1960. Whereas in 1960 almost all black students attended all-black schools, by 1970, only 34% of blacks remain in intensely segregated schools in the South.

In Dandridge v. Williams, 397 U.S. 471 (1970), the Supreme Court upholds a Maryland law that limits monthly welfare grants to a family to $250, regardless of the family's size or computed need. The Court holds that regulations directed against the poor do not warrant any special judicial scrutiny. By contrast, in August the California Supreme Court strikes down a property-based school financing scheme in Serrano v. Priest (Serrano I), 487 P.2d 1241 (Cal. 1970), holding that wealth is a suspect classification and that education is a fundamental right.