The Potluck

Nearly 40% of Minneapolis schools segregated by race

By: - January 29, 2020 12:31 pm

This year, nearly 40% of Minneapolis Public Schools fall into the category of more than about 86% white or students of color. That’s 25 of the district’s 63 schools that are at least roughly 86% white or students of color, according to Minneapolis Public Schools enrollment data.

Minneapolis Public Schools released several plans this month aimed at reducing that segregation and closing the district’s big achievement gaps.

The five proposals vary and involve redrawing boundaries, relocating magnet schools and reconfiguring grade levels. All are intended to accomplish three goals, according to the district: move magnet schools to increase access; decrease the number of schools with populations above 80% poverty and above 86% white students or students of color.

Two of the 25 schools — Lake Harriet Upper and Lower Elementary Schools — are roughly 85% white. The district’s majority-non-white schools include culturally specific schools, like the Hmong International Academy and Anishinabe Academy.

Segregated schools are still common across the United States, 66 years after the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education. Some metro school districts in Minnesota aimed to integrate schools in the mid-2000s with a program that no longer exists called The Choice Is Yours, which bused low-income students from Minneapolis to suburban school districts, as MinnPost noted recently.

Few issues arouse more passion, and that’s already the case in Minneapolis. 

In 2015, a group of parents sued the state of Minnesota, arguing that the state had failed to provide students with an adequate education as a result of racial and economic segregation. The case was in mediation last summer but could go to trial in 2020. More here from the Star Tribune


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Rilyn Eischens
Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens is a former data reporter for the Minnesota Reformer. Rilyn was born and raised in Minnesota and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.