Disproportionate access to people of color: Education, Trials, Immigration

  • Feminist blogs offers a great
    commentary on the Supreme Court ruling about desegregation in public
    schools. In using The New York Times
    , the blog notes that while the nation is getting more diverse, schools
    are getting even more segregated. For
    example, in 2002 and 2003, 73% of African-American children were in schools
    that enrolled over 50% children of color, and nearly two of every five
    African-American students attended schools that were over 90% minority. Justice Breyer’s dissent points out the
    increase in segregation since the 1970s, and explains the importance in
    counter-acting this trend. In
    interpreting school districts’ decisions, it is important to realize that one
    cannot simply make the argument that laws should be colorblind.  Schools are still segregated largely because of neighborhood segregation that began when certain groups were legally excluded from certain neighborhoods, and contained to others.  When such segregation wasn't written into the law, it was often enforced by banks, real estate agents and landlords.  Further, people of color are disproportionately
    affected by poverty, job discrimination, and health care access
    .  Education is a critical component to improving everyone's access to opportunity.
  • DMI Blog emphasizes the sheer
    growth and volume of the prison population, citing last week’s prison and jail
    population statistics from the U.S. government.
      The increasing trends only
    highlight the racial disparities: almost 5% of all African American men are imprisoned,
    compared to 1% of white men, and 11% of all African American men between the ages of 24 and 35
    are behind bars. Describing this issue
    as a “human rights problem”, DMI Blog explains that prison reform needs to
    focus not only on prison upkeep but on unfair sentencing practices. Huffington Post reiterates this sentiment
    with a blog about the racial discrepancies between those who use drugs and those who are
    punished for it. Earl Ofari Hutchinson
    states that while many survey results find that whites are much more likely to
    use drugs than African Americans (or use them at least at equal rates), more than 70 % of those
    prosecuted in federal courts for drug possession and sale and given mandatory
    sentences are African American. Due to these
    unfair proceedings, the media’s representation of the drug
    problem is skewed and not realistic. Describing one solution, Jack
    and Jill Politics
    highlights an editorial in The New York Times about the
    Second Chance Act, which would provide for community and state-based
    rehabilitation programs to prevent first-time offenders from committing more
    crimes after released from prison. Jack
    and Jill Politics note the disparities in drug usage and punishment, citing
    that more than 60% of people in prison are racial and ethnic minorities.

  • Huffington Post argues that most economic problems that opponents of immigrants' rights blame on an influx of cheap labor would actually still exist with or without immigrants. The widening gap between the rich and the
    poor is a structural shift, and well documented in the last few decades. For example, income in the U.S. grew
    nearly twelve times more rapidly among the top 1% than the bottom 90% between
    2003 and 2004—consistent with trends since the early 1980s
    . These trends should motivate workers to come together to demand a fairer shake, not turn on each other. Continuing a
    unity approach in immigrants’ rights discussion, Intelligentaidigena
    explains the similarities between the struggles of the Native
    Americans and immigrants, especially their alienation and oppression,
    citing remarks from the ongoing U.S. Social Forum in Atlanta.  Along the same vein, the Leadership Conference on Civil Right, the
    Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and The Opportunity Agenda
    worked to create an ad showcasing the common struggles
    between African Americans and immigrants. The piece recognizes the profound job and wage crisis in the
    African American community, but, similar to the Huffington Post’s argument,
    this struggle has less to do with immigrants and more to do with governments
    failing to ensure living wages, quality education, and adequate civil rights
    protection. By seeking shared solutions,
    African Americans, among all groups, have a lot to gain. Immigration reform seeks to improve working
    and living conditions for all people in the United States.

School Decisions' Online Responses

     In light of the recent Supreme Court rulings in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District and Meredith V. Jefferson County Board of Ed et
, there has been some excellent dialogue in the online community. The most important conclusion to understand
from this decision is that it holds not only negative but also positive
implications for the nation and Constitution. As NAACP Legal Defense Fund reports, the decision does not reject the
use of race-conscious measures, and actual details ways in which school districts can
take steps to create racially and ethnically diverse schools. While voting against the school districts’
policies, Justice Kennedy responded in no uncertain terms that the ruling
should not imply that school districts should merely accept racial
isolation. He even gave examples of
affirmative measures schools can use. His response demonstrates that a majority of the court recognizes
educational diversity and overcoming our history of segregation to be
compelling government issues.

        However, it is disappointing that the Supreme Court ruled
against the policies Seattle, Washington and Louisville, Kentucky.  The Applied Research Center responds by looking at the underlying causes of such segregation, pointing to the
institutional discrimination against people of color in housing and
employment. As the DMI Blog and Black
reiterate, if we attempt to make policy on the assumption that the
government is or should be colorblind, we ignore the existing health, wealth and
society disparities, thus invoking a whole new form of racism.  As a country, we haven't fully recovered from decades of legal discrimination and segregation.  So letting things "run their course" now, and declaring that colorblind policies are best is premature, short-sighted and unlikely to protect our country's core value of ensuring opportunity for everyone.

        For more blog coverage, try the ACS blog, SCOTUS blog, firedoglake, and these previous entries (here and here). In addition, consider The
Opportunity Agenda’s talking points in interpreting the decision.

Moving Forward from the Supreme Court’s School Cases

Yesterday the Supreme Court issued decisions in two cases regarding whether communities can voluntarily use measures that consider race to avoid segregation and promote diversity in their public schools.  (Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District, 05-908 and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education, 05-915).

Much of the news reporting on the cases has gotten it wrong, describing the outcome as a 5-to-4 opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts against voluntary school integration.  In fact, the outcome of these cases was a 4-to-1-to-4 decision in which Justice Anthony Kennedy (the “1”) controlled the outcome and wrote a mixed opinion with both positive and negative implications for the future of diversity and our Constitution.

Justice Kennedy voted with Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas to strike down the specific policies used by the Louisville and Seattle school districts, but also agreed with Justices Souter, Stevens, Ginsburg, and Breyer that educational diversity and combating segregation are compelling governmental interests that governments may pursue through careful efforts that consider race.
Justice Kennedy ruled, for example:
•    “If school authorities are concerned that the student-body compositions of certain schools interfere with the objective of offering an equal educational opportunity to all of their students, they are free to devise race-conscious measures to address the problem in a general way and without treating each student in different fashion solely on the basis of a systematic, individual typing by race.” (p.8).
•    “In the administration of public schools by the state and local authorities it is permissible to consider the racial makeup of schools and to adopt general policies to encourage a diverse student body, one aspect of which is its racial composition.” (p.8)

Justice Kennedy (and therefore a majority of the Court) firmly rejected Chief Justice Roberts’ position that considering race in a careful way to promote inclusion inflicts the same constitutional harm as the hateful segregation laws that Brown v. Board of Education began to overturn.  Kennedy’s opinion says, “[t]he enduring hope is that race should not matter; the reality is that it too often does,” and notes that “as an aspiration, Justice Harlan’s axiom [that our Constitution is “colorblind”] must command our assent.  In the real world, it is regrettable to say, it cannot be a universal constitutional principle.”

What Justice Kennedy (and, therefore, the Court) says is unconstitutional is considering the race of individual students in determining their school assignment.  That element, and the inexact details of the particular Seattle and Louisville plans, Kennedy said, made those programs insufficiently narrow in their tailoring to meet constitutional muster.

According to most educators and advocates concerned about promoting diversity and inclusion, Justice Kennedy “gets it”; he just doesn’t get how hard it is.  In other words, he understands and articulates well why integration is so important to equal educational opportunity, and to the future of our nation.  But he fails to see why achieving it sometimes requires attention to the details of student assignment.  Research and practical experience show that considering broad demographic trends in school attendance policy is necessary, but not always sufficient, to fostering diverse and inclusive schools.

So the Court’s ruling will no doubt make it harder to bring our kids together across lines of difference.  Yet it’s very important to acknowledge the remarkable victory for the principles of integration, inclusion and diversity, which a majority of the Court strongly embraced yesterday.

So now that consideration of individual student characteristics in school assignment is off the table in the K-12 voluntary integration context, what can schools, policymakers, parents and their children do to promote the vision of inclusion that a majority of the Court endorsed?

Justice Kennedy’s opinion makes clear that numerous options do remain, many of which include explicit consideration of race.  His opinion says: “School boards may pursue the goal of bringing together students of diverse backgrounds and races through other means, including strategic site selection of new schools; drawing attendance zones with general recognition of the demographics of neighborhoods; allocating resources for special programs; recruiting students and faculty in a targeted fashion; and tracking enrollments, performance, and other statistics by race.”

Educators and civil advocates are already hard at work to craft innovative approaches within the Court’s parameters that work on the ground.

In addition, a number of civil rights laws, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, still require schools to avoid segregation or exclusion of students by race.   The Bush Administration has an atrocious record of enforcing those laws, and yesterday’s decision should be an impetus to push for change.   Certainly the next president should make it a priority.

Congress, too, has an important role to play in promoting inclusion and combating segregation in the wake of yesterday’s decision.  For example, Congress should allocate significant resources for communities that want to pursue diversity efforts in line with the Court’s ruling.  Federal support for school construction and expansion should depend, in part, on whether school locations and attendance zones will foster or stymie integration.

And, of course, the U.S. Senate must give far greater scrutiny of judicial nominees than it has done to date.  It’s deeply disturbing that four members of the Court—including the two newest members (Roberts and Alito) nominated by President Bush—would have outlawed almost all effective efforts to promote inclusion in our nation's schools.  And their view that the modest voluntary integration efforts at issue in these cases are constitutionally tantamount to Jim Crow-era segregation is nothing short of outrageous.

While a majority of the Court correctly rejected that extreme position, the Chief Justice's opinion—joined by Justices Alito, Scalia, and Thomas—fundamentally misunderstands the purpose of our Constitution and highlights the importance of exacting questioning of the President's judicial nominations by the U.S. Senate.  Flawed as Justice Kennedy’s opinion is on this subject, it’s worth noting that, if not for the rigorous questioning and consideration of President Reagan’s Supreme Court nominee 20 years ago, Robert Bork would have been the fifth conservative vote in this and many other decisions, instead of Justice Kennedy.

Additional details regarding the decisions may be found at www.naacpldf.org and www.civilrights.org.

Door to Diversity Remains Open

      The decision today should not prevent school districts from continuing the important work of bringing together students of different racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds
Justice Anthony Kennedy

The good news is that five members of the U.S. Supreme Court have affirmed that there is a compelling government interest in creating diverse public schools.  It’s now up to parents, community leaders, members of Congress and supporters of diversity to figure out how to redesign, rethink and tweak programs aimed at creating diverse classes and schools.

Today’s Supreme Court decision striking down integration plans in Seattle, Washington and Louisville, Kentucky was surely disappointing.  But the ruling does not close the door to diversity or considerations of race.

That’s in large part because Justice Anthony Kennedy, though critical of the Seattle and Louisville systems, affirmed a compelling government interest in achieving public school diversity. In this way, Justice Kennedy joined the dissenters to the ruling, Justices Breyer, Stevens, Souter and Ginsburg.

This is the important starting point as school officials and community leaders begin thinking about how to design diversity programs to comply with Justice Kennedy’s controlling opinion. Indeed Justice Kennedy went out of his way to separate his views from those of his four conservative colleagues. He writes,

The plurality opinion is at least open to the interpretation that the Constitution requires school districts to ignore the problem of de facto resegregation in schooling. I cannot endorse that conclusion. To the extent the plurality opinion suggests the Constitution mandates that state and local school authorities must accept the status quo of racial isolation in schools, it is, in my view, profoundly mistaken.

Kennedy identified a number of tools and methods that school systems could use to achieve diversity, among them magnet school plans, race-sensitive site selection for new schools and race sensitive drawing of attendance lines. Tracking of faculty members by race and test scores by race is also acceptable, Kennedy made clear in his opinion.

Indeed Kennedy presents something of an exhortation near the end of his opinion when he writes,

Those entrusted with directing our public schools can bring to bear the creativity of experts, parents, administrators, and other concerned citizens to find a way to achieve the compelling interests they face…

In the weeks to come, school officials, legal experts and others must take Kennedy up on this challenge.  They must begin that process of redesigning and tweaking diversity plans to comply with the standards laid out in Justice Kennedy’s opinion.

One issue school systems will likely have to address is the need to broaden the terms of diversity. Justice Kennedy seemed to take particular offense at the way the Seattle and the Louisville schools seemed to place students in either of two categories: white or black (or other).

The other good news in today’s ruling—in addition to the endorsement of diversity by five members--is that the court affirmed the Grutter decision endorsing diversity in higher education.  Some had feared that in invalidating the Seattle and Louisville plans the high court would have mounted a full-scale attack on diversity.  Supporters of diversity can put aside that fear for now.

Of course, today’s ruling was disappointing in many ways. The four-member conservative bloc on the court, including the two justices appointed by President Bush--Chief Justice Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito--came close to ending the embrace of diversity that has emerged as part of the country’s longstanding struggle over racial equality.

Neither Louisville nor Seattle was under court order to create diverse schools.  Rather school officials and community leaders in each locale decided that diversity was a key education objective that would well serve students of all backgrounds.  The fact that local school systems would decide on their own to embrace diversity is one of the great success stories of race relations in recent decades. And it was these sensible voluntary efforts that the conservative bloc wanted to thwart.

The court’s rejection of the Louisville plan is particularly disheartening for how it fails to acknowledge the long and hard path traveled by that community in the past 30 years. In 1975, a court-ordered busing plan led to all manner of racial unrest and turmoil.  To get a sense of the tensions and turmoil of that time, you can view the following photos from the Louisville Courier-Journal.

But Louisville, like communities across the country, began to change and over time tensions eased and support for integrated schools grew.  So much so that when the school system was released from court supervision in 2000, community leaders were determined to maintain integrated classes.  Thus the school board came up with its flexible plan to create schools with a racial balance roughly mirroring that of the school district as a whole.

Louisville officials said today in a statement that any changes to their assignment plan will reflect the district’s continuing support for diversity.

The four-member conservative bloc of Chief Justice Roberts and Associate Justices Thomas, Scalia and Alito engaged in a major misreading of our national history.  These members came perilously close to equating the Seattle and Louisville diversity efforts with the nasty regime of Jim Crow segregation.

The majority opinion drew a lengthy and persuasive rebuttal from Justice Stephen Breyer in his dissent.  Towards the end of his dissent, Breyer eloquently describes the long journey the nation has been on towards racial equality and the stunning changes that have come about in race relations.

Indeed, the very school districts that once spurned integration now strive for it. The long history of their efforts reveals the complexities    and difficulties they have faced. And in light of those challenges, they have asked us not to take from their hands the instruments they have used to rid their schools of racial segregation, instruments that they believe are needed to overcome the problems of cities divided by race and poverty. The plurality would decline their modest request.

Well said. Community leaders, school officials and parents who embrace diversity have a lot of public support on their side. Despite this ruling, we can still ensure that the opportunity to bring Americans together to create a tolerant pluralist society remains more than a dream.


FEMA's tactics in the post-Katrina climate

  • We continue to learn many lessons from Hurricane Katrina, nearly two years after the storm struck the Gulf Coast, chief among them the consequences of misplaced governmental priorities.  In a case where we most needed a strong and positive governmental role, instead we witnessed a monumental failure of will and dodging responsibility.  For example, Facing
    reports that federal agencies responding to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
    gave the startling amount of $2.4 billion in contracts guaranteeing profits for
    big companies, according to a Center for Public Integrity investigation. FEMA, which has seen its support consistently cut and its core mission altered over the past seven years, was responsible for nearly 94% of these
    contracts. The tragedies in Hurricane Katrina should have provided an opportunity
    for the government to act as a positive resource, but many reports show many
    poor decisions, increasing suffering for the victims. Check out the Center for Social Inclusion’s

From commercials to detention reform: Immigration from All Sides

  • DMI Blog reports on a new support
    campaign for immigration, Long Island WINS, seeking to elucidate the shared
    interests of immigrants and middle class Long Islanders. Last week, they launched a multitude of
    intriguing T.V. commercials explaining the economic and cultural contributions
    immigrants make to the island.  These ads
    highlight the important message that immigrants only want what everyone in the
    country wants: the opportunity to pursue the American Dream and participate
    fully in our society. Immigrants
    revitalize communities like these Long Island ones by reviving commerce and provided needed products, in addition to tax and
    net contributions. For example,
    immigrants in California gave an estimated $4.5 billion in state taxes and an additional $30 billion in federal taxes in 1999-2000.
  • Immigrants in the USA Blog
    emphasizes a main idea of the Long Island WINS campaign: everyone benefits from
    working together. This Democrat & Chronicle story highlights
    the triumphs of the Rochester City School District in graduating many seniors who struggled
    with language barriers and cultural disparities. The school helps the students in the
    63-language population by providing resources like teachers with specialized
    language skills and connecting parents with community agencies. These success stories demonstrate the
    importance of providing immigrants with an adequate integration strategy.  Funding for adult basic education and English
    classes has not kept pace with the growing demand
    , and such resources are vital
    to proper integration.
  • ‘Just News’
    reports on a New York Times article continuing this conversation about the high
    rate of immigrants dying in custody after being detained. Because no government body is charged with documenting deaths in immigrant detention, the details and extent of the
    sub par conditions are hard to find. Latina Lista references the same article in explaining how immigrant
    detention is the fastest growing form of incarceration in the United States.  For example, over 27,000 immigrants are
    detained on any given day in almost 200 prison-like facilities all over the
  • Happening-here blog explains some effective ways to counter anti-immigration ways to frame an argument. The blog proposed fighting for a human
    security state (where the government fights for our freedom rather than
    constricting our rights), working toward all forms of racial equity, and
    encouraging globalization in understanding the ways in which we can all provide
    important resources for each other. An
    important facet of the immigration struggle is highlighting the ways in which
    all groups can benefit from fair immigrant rights. For more information about this shared
    interest, check out this article.

Grading the Rebuilding Process – May 2007 Report Card

The Center for Social Inclusion 
released their monthly “New Orleans Recovery Report Card” for May 2007. The Report Card, an advocacy tool for
monitoring rebuilding progress, assigns a grade for the 13 New Orleans planning districts based on
performance in five categories: economy, utilities, health, housing, and public

May’s report still
looks dismal with not much improvement over previous months, especially in
the categories of health, rental housing and public education, which each received
an “F” grade overall. In health and
public education, all but three of the planning districts received an “F”
grade; in rental housing all but four received an “F.”

Other details from May’s Report Card:

  • Only 25 of 447 registered "family child-care"
    homes have reopened since hurricane Katrina.  Together with child care
    centers, less than 30% of total pre-Katrina capacity is available.

  • The Road Home Program will stop accepting applications at
    the end of July, ending what was viewed by many as an example of "worst
    practice" in rebuilding housing and a complete failure as a recovery

  • With Charity Hospital still closed,
    area hospitals are feeling the financial burden of treating the
    uninsured.  Officials at Slidell Memorial say they treated almost 20% more
    uninsured patients from 2005 to 2006 and St. Tammany Parish Hospital in Covington spent a record
    $21 million on uninsured patients in 2006.

In other New Orleans news, the Sun Herald reported on
June 15
, that New Orleans city leaders are
turning to foreign countries, such as Saudi Arabia, for help to rebuild as
federal hurricane-recovery dollars from FEMA are slow to flow.

"As of June 8, the city said it had received just over half
of the $320 million FEMA has obligated for rebuilding city infrastructure and
emergency response-related costs. The city has estimated its damage at far more
than that – at least $1 billion."

Katrina Recovery Report Card.May 2007

How do video games perpetuate racial stereotypes?

  • Racialicious questions the effects racial stereotypes have
    when perpetuated in pop culture, like popular video games like Grand Theft Auto. Responding to Deadline Games CEO Chris
    Motte’s post on GameDaily Biz, a site and blog dedicated to the video game
    industry, Racialicious discusses the flood of games that use both sexist and
    racist messages as part of the plot. Few
    video games include African American, Asian American, or Latino main characters
    without employing numerous stereotypes as part of their image. Not just demeaning, but such portrayals
    reinforce the idea that stereotypes are valid and appropriate. When popular culture reflects an inaccurate
    lens, advocates for social change will have to cross that many more obstacles
    for equality. If people start believing
    stereotypes about certain race or gender groups, there will be fewer public
    movements to help truly disadvantaged parties.
  • Ezra Klein points to an interactive game by The New York Times called Points of Entry, in which players learn
    about the proposed point system in the Immigration Bill firsthand.  The game allows players to change key education and employment history
    details in an effort to boost one immigrant’s point total higher than another. The game is one of many in a growing trend
    to use interactive online games to educate audiences and motivate them to advance social change. In Darfur is Dying, players choose a
    Darfurian to try to either forage for water, trying to avoid getting captured,
    or support a camp for seven days with the imminent threat of an attack. Games for Change is an organization which
    provides “support, visibility and shared resources to organizations and
    individuals using digital games for social change.
  • As a social worker coordinating anti-hate crime programs,
    Marshall Wong uses his family’s immigration struggles to drive his work. In this Dreams Across America video, Marshall explains the
    xenophobia his parents and grandparents received, and the ways in which they
    fought back.

Daily Blog Round-Up 6/22/07

  • Facing
    reports on the People’s Freedom Caravan, a regional group leaving New Mexico on June 25 with plans to travel to New Orleans to build solidarity with grassroots groups and
    highlight the government’s unfair treatment of survivors of
    Hurricane Katrina. This event is a
    precursor to the U.S. Social Forum in Atlanta next week. The organizers explain that
    “Post-Katrina life in New Orleans has shown that
    there is no real recovery of the Gulf Coast, but only a massive
    privatization scheme that takes away our homes, communities, and human
    rights.” Bringing public attention to
    this devastated region is the only way to promote action in an area where after
    a year, only 18% of the public schools had reopened and 60% of the homes had
    electricity service
    . For more
    information, check out previous postings, Katrina "report cards", and fact sheets.
  • Prometheus
    is also blogging New Orleans, focusing on the Army Corps of Engineers recent report on many neighborhoods in New Orleans' extreme
    vulnerability to future storms. Large
    areas of the city would still be flooded in the event of a major storm, and the progress is
    slower than expected. Residents can
    study the city on a new website on a block-by-block basis for different kinds
    of storms.

  • Immigration Equality Blog reports on
    a recent Migration Policy Institute report (pdf) about the results of a Senate bill
    proposal and how it affects family members trying to immigrate. The
    report highlights the change from a system that “allocates about two-thirds of
    permanent visas to family members and less than one-fifth to employment-based
    immigrants, to a system that eventually allocates perhaps less that half of all
    visas to family members and about two-fifths to points-based immigrants.” The report also shows the current age and
    education demographics of the immigrants in 2005, and extrapolates how the new
    policy would effect immigration.

  • Yolanda Ochoa tells another touching immigration story as part of the Dreams Across America videos. After immigrating, Yolanda went back to school to learn English and study to start her career as a nursing assistant.  Her dream is to eliminate all children witnessing their parents being deported, and is committed to immigration reform.

Daily Blog Round-Up 6/20/07: Part 2

  • Firedoglake reports on Dreams Across America train which we've posted about before here and
    . The Dreams Across America train
    represents the melting pot of cultures America holds. Over the next week or so, we're going to feature some of our favorite "Dreamers" and exhibit their videos here on our site.  Our first featured dreamer is Yun Sook Kim Navarre,
    born in South Korea but
    adopted by a Detroit family. Yun Sook recognizes the strength of America's diversity and discusses her desire for better rights and less discrimination for her young daughter.
  • Pro Inmigrant reports on the controversial usage of the word
    “amnesty” for the immigration legislation, claiming that opponents of the bill
    use the word like a weapon. Pro
    Inmigrant points out the fallacy of calling this program “amnesty,” and urges
    all politicians to focus on a better compromise – and better wording.  We suggest "Pathway to Citizenship".
  • Racialicious reports on the Center for Migrant Rights, a
    small non-profit based in Mexico, and its efforts to educate Mexican workers about US labor laws, government agencies and
    previous civil rights struggles. Providing free legal aid to guest workers seeking compensation for
    injuries or missed pay, the Center started these workshops as a preventive
    effort in Mexico, as many workers in America are hard to reach because of fear of authorities. Many guest workers do not know the extent of
    their rights in the workforce, and much legislation aims at taking away rights
    they deserve. Among others, the 1996
    Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act
    barred many
    documented and undocumented immigrants from basic federal programs that provide
    economic security.
  • The Connecticut newspaper,
    The Advocate, reports on the lack of progress in racially integrating Hartford and suburban
    schools. A review conducted by
    researchers at Trinity College shows that magnet schools have not attracted as
    many white suburban children into the city, resulting in only 9 percent of
    Hartford’s students (primarily black and Hispanic) attend schools that have
    enough white students to qualify as “racially integrated.” Following approval by the court and General
    Assembly, the state plans to spend millions of dollars over the next five years
    to subsidize programs that would foster immigration, like magnet and charter
    schools. This review is timely in light
    of the Supreme Court decision on school integration cases in Louisville and Seattle expected
    any day. Nationwide, the NAACP (pdf) found that nearly
    three-quarters of black and Latino students attend predominantly minority
    schools, and most white students attend schools where only one out of five
    students are from different racial groups. Without proper community programs, the already increasing levels of
    segregation will continue to rise, creating more barriers between us and failing to prepare our children to work in an increasingly diverse workforce and world.

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