PRRAC Poverty & Race Research Action Council
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Housing/Education Link

There is a reciprocal relationship between residential segregation and segregated schools. Federal housing and transportation policy and historical patterns of housing segregation have created stark divides between wealthy, largely white communities with high property values and predominantly minority communities with more limited resources. Due to the local nature of school funding, communities with higher property value can generate more funding for schools, leading to more comprehensive educational resources and higher test scores, which in turn drives up the price of homes in the school district. In this way the socioeconomic and racial divisions between neighborhoods and schools perpetuate themselves in a vicious cycle.

Just as residential and school segregation are mutually reinforcing, so too are the effects of residential and school integration. Children attending integrated schools are more likely to live in integrated neighborhoods as adults, and send their own children to integrated schools. The effects are reciprocal, working positively in both directions, as Professor Roslyn Mickelson demonstrates compellingly in her NCSD Research Brief, The Reciprocal Relationship Between Housing and School Integration

PRRAC works to both integrate residential areas and support community-led efforts to integrate schools by race and socioeconomic status in order to break the cycle of mutually-reinforcing housing and school-based segregation.

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