A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Segregation Continues

May 17, 1954 was ruled as the day segregation would end. The order was whites and blacks would no longer be made to attend separate schools, and although there are no specific laws or regulations that directly mandate segregation in schools, a remarkable amount of it persists.  According to a government study in 2014 32 percent of public schools were a mix of 75 percent or more black and hispanic students in the 2014 school year. That same year seven percent of low-poverty schools were black, while 48 percent of high poverty schools are black.


One major reason for modern separation in schools is redlining. Redlining is a practice of withholding home loans based on race, forcing minorities to move to cheaper neighborhoods. This practice started with the founding of the Federal Housing Administration, and stopped in 1968 when the FHA ended the practice. Areas that were redlined in the 20th century are still more segregated than most places today, according to an analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.


This is supported by the poverty rate among blacks and hispanics, which is more than double that of whites (for blacks 22%, for hispanics 19.4%, for whites 8.8%), as well as a massive income disparity. Minorities are being pushed out of wealthier neighborhoods, and into poorer ones. Since schools are funded by property taxes in most areas, school with high minority attendance have less money than other schools. The clear fact is that minorities (blacks and hispanics) are forced into a lower economic bracket, which forces them into poor neighborhoods, which forces them into poor schools (since attendance is typically done by region).


“Racism still exists, separation still exists. We’ve put a band-aid on it, but we haven’t dealt with it,” security guard Tido Smith said.