The largest twenty-five urban school districts in the country now enroll 30% of Latino students, 27% of black students, and only 3% of the white population. According to a poll conducted by the National Opinion Center, black opposition to busing falls to 38% .

January
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is celebrated as a federal holiday for the first time.

February
The Fourth Circuit allows the Norfolk school district, which had been declared unitary in 1975, to dismantle its segregation plan and return to local control and neighborhood schools. Norfolk promptly ends its busing plan and creates ten almost all-black elementary schools and three disproportionately white elementary schools.

May
In Wygant v. Jackson Board of Education, 476 U.S. 267 (1986), the Supreme Court holds that a school board's layoff policy that granted preferences to minority employees violates the Equal Protection Clause.

June
President Reagan appoints Antonin Scalia to the Supreme Court to fill the seat left vacant by Justice Burger's resignation and appoints Justice William H. Rehnquist as Chief Justice.