Segregated Schools

Schools in the United States are becoming increasingly segregated based on students’ race and economic status, according to a study released by Gary Orfield of the Civil Rights Project. While some of these developments are due to population shifts caused by immigration trends, segregation is a historic, continual problem in the U.S. education system.

Within the next decade, white student enrollment will be less than 50 percent, while Latino enrollment will soar to more than 9.9 million students nationwide, an increase of 9 percent since 1988. Today, 44 percent of U.S. students are people of color.

31.5%
Percentage of students from low-income households among all white students enrolled in the U.S. public school system in 2006-07.

58.8%
Percentage of students from low-income households among all African-American students enrolled in the U.S. public school system in 2006-07.

0.4 million
Number of white students who attend schools where nine-tenths or more of the students are poor—just 1.5 percent.

15%
Percentage of people of color among teachers currently working in U.S. public schools.

Source: “Reviving the Goal of an Integrated Society: A 21st Century Challenge” (The Civil Rights Project, January 2009).

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