Home > Uncategorized > Redistricting to Address Resegregation an Uphill Battle in Maryland and Virginia— and EVERYWHERE

Redistricting to Address Resegregation an Uphill Battle in Maryland and Virginia— and EVERYWHERE

February 4, 2020

AP reporters Regina Garcia Cano and Sarah Rankin dug deeply into the redistricting recommendations advanced by the Superintendents of two school districts south of the Mason Dixon line and found that the situation in those districts is no different than the situation anywhere in the United States: most affluent homeowners want no part of any plan to redraw school boundaries to increase racial or economic diversity. As Mss. Cano and Rankin write:

From New York City to Richmond, Virginia, sweeping proposals to ease inequities have been scaled back or canceled after encountering a backlash. The debates have been charged with emotion and racist rhetoric reminiscent of the aftermath of Brown vs. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that threw out state laws establishing segregated schools.

While the federal government has largely stepped back from the aggressive role it played decades ago in school desegregation, some local districts have acted in recognition of increasingly apparent racial divides and the long-established educational benefits of integration.

Mss. Cano and Rankin did not examine the larger picture of funding differentials between affluent districts and/or schools and those districts and/or schools serving low income and minority schools… but if they had they would see that the latent racism they witnessed in Howard County MD and Richmond VA is also intertwined with an unwillingness on the part of the affluent to mingle with those who are less well off. And since the level of education and the level of income are highly correlated, it means that those raised in affluence seldom if ever come in contact with those raised in poverty. The children of college graduates are seldom sitting beside the children of high school graduates or– especially— high school drop outs. As a result, we find ourselves with a widening gap in communication between the children of well educated parents and the children of those without degrees. As a result, we find ourselves in a nation of what Thomas Geoghegan describes as “Educated Fools“. And those who never had a chance to get the same opportunity as children raised in affluence feel rejected by society and look to leaders who can save the day for them.

If we want to live in a harmonious democracy we need to make certain that everyone has an equal chance from the outset and no individual or group is permanently marginalized. That will, at the very least, require those who are well off to open the doors of their community’s schools to children who live outside of their geographical area, or allow housing for low income families to be built in their community, or pay higher taxes so that the children of those shunned from their community are afforded the same opportunities as their own children.

%d bloggers like this: