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).