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New Effort Pairs Educators and Housing Advocates to Tackle School Segregation

The 74 Million |

This commingling of housing and education advocates to fight for school integration is the focus of The Bridges Collaborative, a new effort that brings district and charter schools together with housing organizations in a coordinated attempt to spur progress on this long-stalled issue. 

56 organizations across more than 20 states were selected for the inaugural cohort that will collaborate over the next two years. 

The Collaborative plans to develop new messaging and new approaches that will support its members in building on one-off initiatives, such as a Maryland county’s redistricting plan to promote socioeconomic integration, and achieving more widespread progress by modifying zoning restrictions and redrawing school enrollment areas.

Conventionally, students learn that school segregation was outlawed by the 1954 Brown v. Board case in which the Supreme Court repudiated the “separate but equal” doctrine. 

Except a legal decision does not desegregate schools by itself. 

Mississippi refused to act on the ruling for 16 years. Milwaukee’s public schools — like many others in the U.S. — have only grown more segregated over the last three decades. Nationally, the percentage of schools where minority students comprised 90 to 100 percent of the student body more than tripled, to 18.2 percent, in 2016.

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