Racial Segregation in the Southern Schools, School Districts, and Counties Where Districts Have Seceded
AERA Open, September 3, 2019
Erica Frankenberg, Kendra Taylor and Genevieve Siegel-Hawley
The establishment of new school districts in predominantly White municipalities in the South is restructuring school and housing segregation in impacted countywide school systems. This article compares the contribution of school district boundaries to school and residential segregation in the Southern counties that experienced secession since 2000. Merging together several data sets, including Common Core of Data, census data, and shapefiles at multiple geographic scales, we measure segregation of public school students and the entire population over time. We show that school district secession is restructuring school segregation in the counties where secession is occurring, with segregation increasingly occurring because students attend different school districts. Additionally, in the most recent year of analysis, residents were increasingly stratified by race in different school districts. Segregation patterns differ substantially, however, depending on the history of secession in the county.
School District Secessions: How Boundary Lines Stratify School and Neighborhood Populations in Jefferson County, Alabama, 1968-2014
Erica Frankenberg and Kendra Taylor
As our nation and our public school enrollment grow more racially diverse, and we continue to learn about the myriad of ways in which exposure to diversity in schools and neighborhoods benefits all, especially young people, it is important to carefully consider the creation of new structures like school district boundary lines that may further separate areas into homogenous subunits. Rethinking the provision of public schooling as a collective good instead of thinking of it as an individual benefit for students and their families is a first step towards critically assessing how this new generation of local control, when overlaying existing stratification, will further inequality.
Erica Frankenberg and Kendra Taylor shared findings in a research report titled “School District Secessions: How Boundary Lines Stratify School and Neighborhood Populations in Jefferson County, Alabama, 1968-2014," released through Penn State’s Center for Education and Civil Rights (CECR).