School desegregation and equitable access to educational opportunity takes alignment in the housing and education sectors. Racist housing policies and practices have systematically limited access to opportunity for generations of people of color, profoundly affecting their wealth, and perpetuating racial disparities in opportunity and well-being for children. Contemporary school enrollment patterns of students of different races reflect the legacy of state-sanctioned segregation and decades of exclusionary practices in housing and education.
This report lays out a through line between housing policies and practices, inequitable school resources, and inequitable educational outcomes. It discusses racist policies that drive residential racial segregation and how limited residential opportunities have manifested for students through school segregation and education inequity. Next, it shares solutions from communities across the country to address segregation across both sectors, including housing mobility for students in segregated communities and schools, housing supports for students who want to stay in gentrifying neighborhoods, and inclusionary zoning policies that encourage affordable housing construction near higher-performing schools. Finally, it presents guidance and resources that practitioners can use to improve equity in their own communities. These include steps communities can take to assess current conditions, identify partners, establish shared outcomes, implement solutions, and influence policies in both sectors.