Giving Compass’ Take:
• Mark Keierleber reports that a study found that school district borders segregate millions of kids across the United States.
• How can funders work to dismantle the system of segregation in the United States?
An invisible line separates the school system in Waterbury, Connecticut, from neighboring districts, but in many respects, they’re oceans apart. A significant share of students at the district, which is located in one of America’s wealthiest states, is nonwhite and poor. Drive a few miles in any direction from Waterbury, however, and you’ll find the exact opposite.
In fact, Waterbury is America’s most “isolated” school system, according to a report released Thursday by the nonprofit EdBuild. In Waterbury, where 82 percent of students are nonwhite, the district brings in about $16,000 in per-pupil school funding. But in each of the eight districts that share its borders, schools get significantly more money per student. Their student bodies are whiter. In the neighboring Thomaston School District, for example, just 8 percent of students are nonwhite and the education system brings in more than $20,000 per pupil.
Though Waterbury tops the list, EdBuild found nearly 1,000 school district borders where students are sharply divided in a way that creates a system of winners and losers, according to the report. On the losing side of the borders are nearly 9 million students in districts that get $4,207 less per pupil than affluent districts next door. Across the country, EdBuild found a total of 969 instances of school district borders where revenue gaps exceeded 10 percent and differences in racial makeup exceeding 25 percentage points.
Read the full article about school district borders segregate millions of kids by Mark Keierleber at The 74.
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