Sunday, August 11, 2019

‘Separate Programs for Separate Communities’: California School District Agrees to Desegregate - The New York Times

‘Separate Programs for Separate Communities’: California School District Agrees to Desegregate - The New York Times

‘Separate Programs for Separate Communities’: California School District Agrees to Desegregate

A California school district outside of San Francisco agreed to desegregate its schools on Friday, after a two-year state investigation found that the district had “knowingly and intentionally maintained and exacerbated” racial segregation and even established an intentionally segregated school.
Students in the district, Sausalito Marin City, are divided into two starkly different schools, according to the state Justice Department, which conducted the investigation: a thriving, racially and economically integrated charter school in the heavily white enclave of Sausalito, near the Golden Gate Bridge, and an overwhelmingly black, Hispanic and poor traditional public school about a mile away, in the more diverse community of Marin City.
The arrangement was no accident, Xavier Becerra, the California attorney general, said on Friday, but a deliberate scheme by school district officials to set up a separate and unequal system that would keep low-income children of color out of a white enclave.
As part of the new agreement, the district agreed to desegregate by the 2020-21 school year, and provide scholarships and counseling to students who had been hurt by the segregation.

“Depriving a child of a fair chance to learn is wicked, it’s warped, it’s morally bankrupt, and it’s corrupt,” Mr. Becerra said. “Your skin color or ZIP code should not determine winners and losers.”

State attorneys general typically defend school systems against desegregation claims, not pursue them. In the decades after the Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, the vast majority of desegregation agreements resulted from federal, not state, action — but in recent years, federal courts have done little to integrate schools.
In the Sausalito case, the state said the district had violated the equal protection clause of the California Constitution. The action is part of a wave of new educational equity court actions from the left that relies on state law.
The settlement is “very significant” nationally and historically, said Richard D. Kahlenberg, director of K-12 equity at the Century Foundation. “This is an important, relatively new avenue for the vindication of rights for students of color and low-income students.”
The settlement comes amid a growing national debate over school segregation — one that has animated the Democratic presidential primary. CONTINUE READING: ‘Separate Programs for Separate Communities’: California School District Agrees to Desegregate - The New York Times




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