There is a reciprocal relationship between residential segregation and segregated schools. Federal housing 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 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.
You can check out our explainer for upcoming projects and the history of our housing-school nexus work here. For more information on PRRAC’s work to support school integration, please visit our School Diversity page.
PRRAC Publications and Resources
- A Steady Habit of Segregation (NAACP LDF, PRRAC, Open Communities Alliance, Sillerman Center, October 2020)
- State Support for Local School Construction: Leveraging Equity and Diversity (PRRAC, August 2020)
- Immigrant Integration and Immigrant Segregation: The Relationship Between School and Housing Segregation and Immigrants’ Future in the U.S. (Martha Cecilia Bottia, April 2019)
- Housing and Schools: The Importance of Engagement for Educators and Education Advocates (NEA & PRRAC, April 2019)
- Coordinated Action on School and Housing Integration: The Role of State Government (Megan Haberle & Philip Tegeler, March 2019)
- Coordination of Community Systems and Institutions to Promote Housing and School Integration (Philip Tegeler and Micah Herskind, November 2018)
- Housing and Educational Opportunity: Characteristics of Local Schools Near Families with Federal Housing Assistance (Ingrid Gould Ellen & Keren Horn, July 2018)
- Deconstructing Segregation in Syracuse? The Fate of I-81 and the Future of One of New York State’s Highest Poverty Communities (Anthony Armstrong & Make Communities, May 2018)
- Changing the Perception of Pasadena Unified School District Through an Innovative Realtor Outreach Program (PRRAC & NCSD, April 2018)
- Disrupting the Reciprocal Relationship Between Housing and School Segregation (Philip Tegeler & Michael Hilton, November 2017)
- Issue Brief No. 5: Linking Housing And School Integration Policy: What Federal, State And Local Governments Can Do (NCSD & PRRAC, March 2015 )
- The ‘Compelling Government Interest’ in School Diversity: Rebuilding the Case for an Affirmative Government Role (Philip Tegeler, July 2014)
- Do Federally Assisted Households Have Access to High Performing Public Schools? (Ingrid Gould Ellen & Keren Mertens Horn, November 2012)
- Diverse Charter Schools (PRRAC & Century Foundation, May 2012)
- Finding Common Ground: Coordinating Housing and Education Policy to Promote Integration (PRRAC & NCSD, October 2011).
- New Homes, New Neighborhoods, New Schools: A Progress Report on the Baltimore Housing Mobility Program (PRRAC & the Baltimore Regional Housing Campaign, October 2009)
- Bringing Children Together: Magnet Schools and Public Housing Redevelopment (PRRAC-Charles Hamilton Institute for Race & Justice, 2009)
- Planning for Equity Policy Guide (American Planning Association, May 2019)
- Briefing Report: Public Education Funding Inequity: In an Era of Increasing Concentration of Poverty and Resegregation (US Commission on Civil Rights, January 2018) – includes a chapter on “How Housing Policy Impact Educational Opportunity,”
- HUD-ED-DOT Joint Letter on Diverse Schools and Communities (June 2016)
- Confronting School and Housing Segregation in the Richmond Region (2017)
- HUD Housing-Schools Report Breaking Down Barriers: Housing, Neighborhoods, and Schools of Opportunity (May 2016)
- Department of Housing & Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research, “Breaking Down Barriers: Housing, Neighborhoods, and Schools of Opportunity” (April 2016)
- Charter Schools, Gentrification, and Weighted Lotteries (Shelterforce, February 2016)
- Coordinating Housing and Education Policy to Support Racial and Economic Integration: a February 3, 2011 Roundtable at HUD. In early 2011, PRRAC convened officials from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Education, and the Department of Justice to explore ways in which the two agencies might work collaboratively to advance school and housing integration, recognizing that these two systems interact in highly interdependent ways.