School segregation by race and poverty is worsening in Virginia, researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University and Pennsylvania State University have found.
The researchers’ report, “School Segregation by Boundary Line in Virginia: Scope, Significance and State Policy Solutions,” shows that segregation among schools in the same division contributes to half or more of all multiracial school segregation in Virginia’s metropolitan regions.
The report also lays out a variety of state-level policy recommendations designed to help local divisions better understand and address the role boundaries play in structuring segregation.
“School boundaries matter. The lines separating school districts and school communities within those districts continue to shape racial and economic segregation and educational opportunity,” said Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.
“School segregation is a fundamental barrier to equitable educational opportunity and outcomes. It is also antithetical to preparation for citizenship in a multiracial democracy,” Siegel-Hawley said. “After decades of neglect, policymakers should urgently confront this issue, starting with raising awareness and followed by concrete policy action and accountability.”