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State Policy Options to Promote K-12 Integration

Schools in the United States continue to be segregated by race and socioeconomic status, almost 70 years after the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling that aimed to desegregate schools. Segregation exists in three ways in K-12 schools:

  • Across districts. This is the case in about two-thirds of segregation in metropolitan areas.
  • Between schools in a district. This often pertains to the way school attendance boundaries are determined.
  • Within individual schools. This is often the result of tracking and ability grouping, in addition to disciplinary practices.

This Policy Guide explores each of these types of segregation, notes policy considerations for addressing each, and points to state examples and case studies demonstrating the implementation and effectiveness of desegregation efforts.

This guide is a companion resource to “Addressing Inequities in Higher Education,” which explores the barriers that Black, Latinx and American Indian students face as they prepare for college, transition to college and ultimately pursue a degree. The guide provides pertinent policy questions to consider in alleviating these barriers along the higher education pipeline.


July 22, 2021

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