Virginia's quarrell with the Department of Health, Education and Welfare over desegregation dates to 1969 when HEW notified 10 states they had not fully desegregated their systems of higher education and thus were in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The Act provided for the withdrawal of federal funds if a state failed to comply. Each state was advised to file a statewide plan for college desegregation. Virginia's plan was found unacceptable by HEW.
In February 1973 blacks represented by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund brought suit against HEW to require the department to take enforcement action against the state.
In 1974 HEW accepted desegregation plans from eight of the 10 states, including Virginia.
Last year, on April 1, the U.S. District Court in Washington ruled that the 1974 plans had failed to achieve significant progress toward desegregation of the colleges and universities and ordered HEW to develop specific criteria to guide states in preparing revised plans.
Virginia submitted a new plan last September, but it was rejected by HEW. In December, then-Gov. Mills E. Godwin refused to make further revisions. The matter was resolved yesterday when HEW accepted a new plan endorsed by Gov. John N. Dalton.