Loudoun County in Virginia voted 6-3 to support the initiation of the study Tuesday after it was suggested by supervisor Juli Briskman.
Speaking to Fox5 about her proposal, Briskman said: "The anti-CRT (critical race theory) movement is much more about 'today' and what we're teaching today. And my board member initiative is looking back at potential harm that was because we operated segregated schools illegally against the ruling of Brown vs. the Board of Education."
Briskman was citing Loudoun County's choice to keep segregating schools until 1968, a full 14 years after the landmark 1954 Brown V Board of Education ruling that doing so was unconstitutional.
In 1956, Loudoun County approved a Constitutional amendment to direct funds towards paying for white children to attend private schools so they could avoid attending segregated schools.
The same month, the board declared a resolution preventing funding for desegregated schools. That was abolished in 1962, although Loudoun County schools didn't ultimately mix until 1968. The board previously excused its past behavior in September 2020.
The subject will now be passed to a joint committee made of members from the Board of Supervisors and School Board which will then partner with the black community to recommend solutions.
If the board eventually does decide to pay reparations, it remains unclear who will take the money, and how much will be paid to recipients.
Briskman claimed there is proof that the Board of Supervisors and School Board prevented black students from getting the same level of education as white students for nearly fourteen years after the US Supreme Court ruling.
She said the evidence includes the Board of Supervisors' 1956 vote in favor of a suggested amendment to Virginia's Constitution to allow the use of public funds for private schools. Briskman said the proposal was introduced to make private education more cost-efficient for white families who did not want their children attending integrated public school systems.
There also seems to be evidence of action taken to block funding and prohibit improvements to black schools.
Briskman was also asked about board meeting clashes over the teaching of critical race theory at Loudoun County but suggested it was being used as a wedge issue to energize locals to vote in the 2022 midterm elections.
She explained: "I would just encourage our joint committee or whatever commission comes out of this to just ignore the outside noise because what's happening in (neighboring) Fairfax and Loudon County, in many ways has little to do with us and more to do with 'message testing' for the 2022 elections and beyond."