On average, the number of school-aged children in seceding districts is about 4,000 compared to the roughly 32,000 school-aged children that comprise the districts from which they secede, according to the EdBuild analysis.
“In most cases, a county is left with less resources when a municipal city school leaves,” Monique Lin-Luse explains. “Further, where there is a racial diversity within the district, most of it is a predominantly white city leaving a more racially diverse county, and definitely one with more fiscal resources.”
Given segregating housing policy that exists in the U.S., Lin-Luse says, public schools are one of the few places that provide a true opportunity to pursue integration.
“Unfortunately,” she says, “this is a way that avenue is closed off by creating these artificial boundaries.”
About a dozen similar secession attempts are currently underway in seven states, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is currently litigating about 100 of the roughly 300 open segregation cases in states across the country.
Lin-Luse says that in many of those cases, the goal is engaging school districts to develop plans to resolve whatever are the outstanding issues, and, if they implement the plans in good faith and there is progress, then the school district goes to court to be released from the order. The goal is to get school districts to a place where they are able to maintain equity and integration.
“But it’s difficult for a county to come up with a sustainable plan when you have to worry about municipal school districts breaking off and pulling away students and resources,” she says.
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