Is your district drawing borders to reduce or perpetuate segregation?

Think about your elementary school.

If you attended an American public school, chances are you went to that school because your family lived in that school’s attendance zone. You probably didn’t think twice about it.

We tend to assume these are neutrally drawn, immutable borders. But if you take a step back and look at the demographics of who lives in each attendance zone, you’re faced with maps like this:

Once you look at the school attendance zones this way, it becomes clearer why these lines are drawn the way they are. Groups with political clout — mainly wealthier, whiter communities — have pushed policies that help white families live in heavily white areas and attend heavily white schools.

We see this in city after city, state after state.

And often the attendance zones are gerrymandered to put white students in classrooms that are even whiter than the communities they live in.

The result is that schools today are as segregated now as they were about 50 years ago, not long after the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision.

But this exact strategy — gerrymandering school districts to include certain kinds of students and exclude others — can also be used to integrate a school, rather than segregate them.

In America, there is already a massive amount of residential segregation, shaped by a long history of racist government policies. This is why everyone going to the nearest school perpetuates very segregated classrooms. But using school zones, we can actually gerrymander these lines so we’re not recreating the underlying segregation.

But that’s not happening in most places.

Two recent studies — one by <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" Read More Here