A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) finds that although the K-12 public school student population has gown more diverse, many schools remain divided along racial, ethnic, and economic lines throughout the United States.
The report found that during the 2020-21 school year, more than a third of students (about 18.5 million) attended schools where 75 percent or more of all students were of a single race or ethnicity. Some 14 percent of students attended schools where 90 percent or more of the students were of a single race/ethnicity.
The study found that 23 percent of all Black students attended schools where 75 percent or more of the student body was Black. But 45 percent of all White students attended schools where at least 75 percent of the student body was White.
The GEO reports that district secession — a process by which schools sever governance ties from an existing district to form a new district — generally resulted in shifts in racial/ethnic composition and wealth. Compared to remaining districts, new districts had, on average, roughly triple the share of White students and were also generally wealthier than remaining districts.
The full report, K-12 Education: Student Population Has Significantly Diversified, but Many Schools Remain Divided Along Racial, Ethnic, and Economic Lines, may be downloaded here.