As Diversity in Schools Increases, So Does Segregation

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Facing South

As Diversity in Schools Increases, So Does Segregation

Photo:  U.S. Department of Education

Year that public schools in the United States are projected to become majority minority: 2014

Year that public schools in the South* became majority minority: 2008

Percent increase in the South's Latino student population between 1995 and 2011: 130

Percent increase in the South's Asian student population in the same period: 106

Percent decrease in the South's white student population over that time: 8

Percent of public school students in the South who are Latino, now the largest racial/ethnic minority group in the region's public schools: 23.5

Year that the number of Hispanic children under 18 surpassed the number of African-American children in the U.S., becoming the largest minority group among children: 1998

Number of children in the South who speak a language other than English at home: nearly 3.8 million

Percent increase in number of public school students in South Carolina enrolled in English language learning programs between the 2002-03 and 2011-12 school years: 422

Percent of Latino students in a school that the typical Latino student attends: 57

Percent of black students in a school that the typical black student attends: 49

Percent of white students in a school that the typical white student attends: 72.5

Year in which the U.S. Supreme Court issued the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision establishing that separate schools for black and white students was unconstitutional: 1954

In 1964, a decade after the Brown decision, percent of black students in the South who attended majority white public schools: 2.3

At its peak in 1988, after over 20 years of court-mandated desegregation in Southern school districts, percent of black students in the South who attended majority white schools: 43.5

Year in which the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Board of Education of Oklahoma City v. Dowell, which rolled back standards for desegregation: 1991

In 2011, a decade after the Dowell decision, percent of black students in the South who attended majority white schools: 23.2

Last time that number was this low: 1967

Rank of the South among U.S. regions with the lowest rate of black students attending racially concentrated minority schools: 1

Rank of the South among U.S. regions with the fastest rate of re-segregation among black public school students since 1991: 1

*Different organizations define the South in varying ways. Index items 2 through 5 are based on the U.S. Census Bureau's definition that includes Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Items 6, 14-15, 17, and 19-20 use UCLA Civil Rights Project's definition that includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Item 8 uses the Institute for Southern Studies' definition that includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

(Click on figure to go to source.)

Allie Yee

Allie Yee is Program and Development Associate at Institute for Southern Studies

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