In the early 20th century, the federal government engaged in housing “redlining”—a practice that conditioned access to federally backed home loans on the perceived economic health of a neighborhood and used demographic factors such as race in those decisions. Today, underperforming public schools are too often located in the areas “redlined” by government agencies in the 20th century. Yet local government policies largely maintain attendance zone boundaries and residential assignment, relegating students with few means to whatever public school is on their side of the street.

Understanding the history of government-sanctioned redlining in the housing sector demonstrates a major problem with continuing to tie housing to schooling. This arrangement is an historical relic that impedes opportunity, limits choice, and prevents parents from selecting a school that best fits their child. There is, however, a clear policy remedy. Join us for a conversation about this history and specific remedies for addressing the lingering effects of housing redlining on education.



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