Once upon a time, the courts were desperate to come up with ways to prevent racial injustice in government entities like schools. Some might have worked, while others, not so much.
For example, take a policy that’s currently impacting a North Hollywood school in California. The school now faces layoffs and increased class size, not because of insufficient tax revenue, but because there are just too many white kids there:
The Los Angeles Unified School District provides more funding for schools where the white population is below 30 percent.
In a letter to parents, the district noted the highly regarded middle school had been above the percentage for the past couple years.
The racial formula was a condition imposed by court decisions dealing with desegregation in the 1970s.
Parents, however, remain frustrated with what the cuts might mean for their children.
“When your class sizes are getting larger and you’re taking resources away from students, I mean ss[sic] parents, you do want your kid to go out to college,” one parent, Rosemary Estrada, said.
In an attempt to lessen the budget cuts, the district changed the school’s spending formula to one based on the number of students.
Now, you can’t force people to move into a school district, nor can you really force people to move out of a district. All a policy like this does is punish kids because of something that is wildly out of their control.
Laws like this were designed to prevent schools from intentionally districting schools to create a de facto segregation system, but they fail to account for the organic movement of people to and from different parts of a community. They’re punishing a school for something beyond the district’s control.
While the district has made some changes, their impact will be minimal. Instead of undoing the issues with court’s ruling, it simply helps hold keep positions like the librarian and the school nurse. But some teachers will still be looking for work.
One thing worth remembering: this ruling was part of a plan to desegregate these schools. In California.
Remember that the next time someone wants to equate “segregation” with “The South.”