In the new Poverty & Race: Reflections from our Board members and Social Science Advisory Board members on the occasion of PRRAC’s 30th Anniversary – including contributions by Olati Johnson, Justin Steil & Somala Diby, Demetria McCain, Gabriela Sandoval, Paul Ong, Jacob Faber & Max Besbris, Megan Haberle & Philip Tegeler – read the new issue here.
Another victory for school integration: Finally, after 45 years, the last restriction on the use of federal education funds for transportation of students to support school integration (formerly known as “busing”) has been removed from federal law, pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act (2021), passed yesterday. This has been a priority of the National Coalition on School Diversity for the last five years, and the removal of Section 426 of the General Education Provisions Act follows on the removal (in 2018) of two separate annual budget riders prohibiting the use of federal funds for student transportation for school integration, and the passage in the House in September 2020 of the Strength in Diversity Act, with 21 Republican votes. Going into 2021, school integration is looking like a truly bipartisan issue…
The saving grace of our Constitution: The UNC Center for Civil Rights is sponsoring an important two-day academic symposium on the Fourteenth Amendment on February 18 & 19, 2021, titled “Equal Protection’s Grand Promise and Betrayals: Reconstruction, Plessy to Bakke and Beyond – Is There A Way Forward?” Speakers include former Attorney General Eric Holder, historian Eric Foner, and an extraordinary assortment of legal scholars. See the agenda and register here for this zoom event.
Segregation of Black students – what will the new Secretary of Education do? The UCLA Civil Rights Project has just published a compelling plea to the new administration to take school segregation seriously. Their report, Black Segregation Matters: School Resegregation and Black Educational Opportunity, makes clear that the segregation of Black students has increased in almost every region of the nation and that Black students in many of nation’s largest school districts have little access to or interaction with White, Asian or middle-class students. The report also reprises recent public opinion research measuring support for integration and notes that “a Gallup poll published during the presidential primaries in 2019 showed that 68% of Blacks, 65% of Latinos and 52% of Whites saw ‘racial concentration or segregation’ as a serious problem.”
AFFH in local zoning: The Boston City Council, the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA), and Mayor Martin Walsh have recommended to the Boston Zoning Commission an Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing amendment to the Boston Zoning Code to require, inter alia, proposed development projects to consider impacts on area residents historically discriminated against so that steps can be taken to reduce those impacts, provide new housing opportunities, and address past histories of exclusion.