Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to talk about disturbing inequality and segregation in New York’s schools in his upcoming State of the State address, The New York Times reported Monday.
The New York State Board of Regents made it clear to Cuomo that legislators will have to commit about $US2 billion more to improve education across the state, according to the Times.
New York state has the most racially and economically segregated schools in the country, according to a report released by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles last year.
In New York City alone, the report found that 73% of charter schools were “apartheid” schools in 2010, meaning they had less than 1% white enrollment. At least 90% were intensely segregated with less than 10% white enrollment.
Minority students are often doubly segregated along racial and economic lines due to the inextricable link between race and class.
The exposure of black and Latino students to white students has declined over the past 40 years.
As the report notes, the typical black student attended school with 29% white students in 1970 and 23% in 1980. By 2010, that number had declined to 17%. Similarly, Latinos’ exposure to white students declined from 22% in 1989 to 20% in 2010.
Though declining, Asian students still have a relatively high exposure to white students when compared to blacks and Latinos. As the chart below shows, the typical white student continued to attend schools in 2010 where around 80% of their classmates were white.
Black and Latino students attend schools segregated not only by race, but also by class. The typical black and Latino student attends school where nearly 70% of the students are low-income, whereas only 29% of the typical white student’s classmates are low-income.
As the report points out, “the children who most depend on the public schools for any chance in life are concentrated in schools struggling with all the dimensions of family and neighbourhood poverty and isolation.”
Over the past 20 years, a rising proportion of Asian, black, and Latino students have been attending public, magnet, and charter schools across the state. However, the lack of diversity-focused policies and interdistrict desegregation has allowed segregation to persist — in the New York metro area, only 6% of schools were considered diverse, i.e. not racially or economically isolated, in 2010.
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