Nicolette Dammacco: Why school segregation is still a relevant issue

UntitledIt’s crazy to think that just over 60 years ago, public school segregation in the U.S. was abolished, and just over 50 years ago, all state and local laws of segregation were told to kick rocks.

It’s even crazier to think that school segregation is still a prevalent and real issue, especially in Connecticut.

Connecticut is the sixteenth most segregated state for black students, and twelfth most segregated state for Hispanic students.

While making strides with magnet schools that are built to attract a more diverse student body, the state still relies on the families of school children to work on desegregating themselves as well. When enrolling their children in school, parents don’t just look for the best education, but also look for other students from similar cultural backgrounds and ethnicities with the belief that the children will flourish more around kids who look like them.

aThe improvements we’ve made over a half-century ago are reversing. In 2011, only 23 percent of black students attended white majority schools and over 50 percent of blacks in the Northeast attend 90-100 percent minority schools.

School segregation doesn’t happen accidentally— it grows and moves persistently with housing segregation and income inequality. The affluent areas of Connecticut are at least 90 percent white with an average income of at least four times the federal poverty level.

The areas of poverty are where less than half of the families are white and at least 40 percent has a household income below the poverty line.

 

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