The 1960s brought tremendous changes and disturbances to the American educational system. Although the decision in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 mandated an end to segregation, La Feria Independent School District (LFISD) and many other school districts throughout the United States still failed to integrate. In the 1960s La Feria had four schools: La Feria High School; Franklin D. Roosevelt, the middle school; Robert E. Lee, the Anglo Elementary School and Sam Houston, the Mexican Elementary School. Mexican students attended Sam Houston Elementary, but the few who had mastered the English language attended Lee Elementary, the Anglo school. At the middle school, although in the same building, separate classrooms divided the Anglos from the Mexicans, but some Mexicans were hand picked and placed with the Anglos--the ones with light skin or who had affluent Mexican American parents. At the high school, a significant number of Mexican students were recommended to attend the vocational schools in the surrounding communities rather than to attend college. However, external and internal forces and actions during this dynamic era of educational change caused modifications within the La Feria school system.
Student walkouts and protests in nearby towns and counties in the late 1960s prompted the La Feria administration to begin hiring Mexican American teachers and begin a gradual integration process at its schools. For example, in 1966 and 1967 disagreements between farm workers and its owners in neighboring Starr County caused protests and social unrest. MAYO (Mexican American Youth Organization), later Raza Unida Party, who sought social justice by confrontations and demonstrations organized a successful student walkout in 1968 at Edcouch-Elsa high school, eighteen miles northwest of La Feria. The students demanded more Mexican American teachers and staff and equal opportunities for all students.
Also, in the 1960s, the student population at La Feria hit a record high. Enrolment increased at the Mexican school. The district began a summer language program for Spanish-speaking children. After the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 passed, more opportunities opened for minorities. Title I allowed the hiring of teacher aids and provided funds to employ more teachers, which La Feria did. In 1967 the Head Start Program opened its doors at Sam Houston Elementary. Also, in 1971 a group of activists presented a list of grievances to the school board. One of the items proposed was the desegregation of Sam Houston Elementary. The school board denied the petition. Therefore, the group, Colonias Del Valle, and its representative, Pedro Guzman, filed a complaint with the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare, (HEW). To help implement all these new programs, which targeted the Mexican community, and to ease the pressure from HEW, La Feria ISD employed Mexican American instructors and Sam Houston desegregated in 1972.
Because of these external and internal forces the La Feria ISD administration, led by Mr. C. E. Vail until 1974 and then by Mr. William B. Green, began implementing the state mandated programs to show La Feria could comply and that its schools could excel. It was a slow gradual process, but Mexican American students and staff became more involved and visible in the school community. In 1971 the first Mexican American school board member was elected. When Sam Houston desegregated in 1972, another Mexican American joined the school board. Also, in 1972 La Feria hired the first Mexican American counselor. By 1974 Mexican Americans were visible at all levels of La Feria school school system. There were two principals, one at Sam Houston Elementary and one at La Feria High School, one counselor and six teachers at the high school and various teachers at the elementary and middle school level.