A new report from researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and Pennsylvania State University finds that school segregation by race and poverty is deepening in Virginia. The report reveals that segregation among schools in the same division contributes to half or more of all multiracial school segregation in Virginia’s metropolitan regions. It also found that school division boundaries surrounding independent cities are related to higher school segregation across Virginia’s rural and metro regions.
“School boundaries matter. The lines separating school districts and school communities within those districts continue to shape racial and economic segregation and educational opportunity,” said Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, an associate professor in the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University.
“School segregation is a fundamental barrier to equitable educational opportunity and outcomes. It is also antithetical to preparation for citizenship in a multiracial democracy,” Dr. Siegel-Hawley continued. “After decades of neglect, policymakers should urgently confront this issue, starting with raising awareness and followed by concrete policy action and accountability.”
The report lays out a variety of state-level policy recommendations designed to help local divisions better understand and address the role boundaries play in structuring segregation.
The full report, School Segregation by Boundary Line in Virginia: Scope, Significance and State Policy Solutions, may be downloaded here.