Integrating our Schools Could Help Eliminate Housing Segregation in NJ

Why It’s up to the Government to End Segregation in Housing

On May 17, 2018, the board of the New Jersey Coalition for Diverse and Inclusive Schools brought a lawsuit against the State of New Jersey. Their case – ending segregation in New Jersey schools.

On June 12, 2018, The Star-Ledger published a guest column by Ryan P. Haygood, President and CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. The column was entitled, “Integrating our schools would help eliminate entrenched housing segregation.”

Sixty-four years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court made the landmark decision in Brown V. Board of Education to desegregate education. However, unfinished business still remains.

Despite New Jersey being a rather racially diverse state, races are ultimately divided by municipality. In New Jersey, students are required to attend public school in the municipality where they live.

The Latino Action Network v. State of New Jersey case asserts that New Jersey has been complicit in the segregation of schools since it knowingly segregates race by district.

Haygood claims, “New Jersey currently operates one of the most segregated public school systems in the nation–a school system that knowingly separates black and Latino children by race and ethnicity and segregates white students in predominantly white districts.”

There are approximately 585,000 black and Latino public school students in New Jersey. 63% of them attend schools that are more than 75% non-white. Nearly half of them attend schools that more than 90% non-white.

According to Haygood, in fact, school segregation does not only harm black and Latino students. White students in New Jersey are being denied of learning in an integrated classroom, which has been proven to provide the best public education. This is not only hurting education but failing to promote racial tolerance.

Racial segregation also reflects into NJ schools due to income disparities. While the median net worth for white families in New Jersey is $271,402, the median net worth for Latino and black families is only $7,020 and $5,900, respectively. Students are not only being denied diversity, but an even distribution of funds.

Haygood explains how housing segregation was something deliberately done by the government back in the 1900s. Now, it is something that must be deliberately undone, in order to ensure equality in our schools.

In May, Monarch Housing Associates partnered with New Jersey Institute of Social Justice and other partners to hold a forum on The Color of Law that focused on how government policy created racial segregation in the United States.

If you are passionate about ending housing discrimination, you should attend the 2018 Congressional Reception.

On July 25th, a Congressional Reception will be held at the Dirksen Senate Auditorium in Washington D.C. This event will allow New Jersey Residents who are working poor, below the poverty line and or impacted by homelessness to urge their elected officials in Washington to make No Cuts to Housing and remind them that pOportunity Starts at Home.

Register today to attend the Congressional Reception.

Click here for more information about the Congressional Reception. You can also follow @OppStartsatHome in order to learn more about the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Opportunity Starts at Home Campaign. Follow the event with these hashtags #NJHillDay #NoHousingCuts and @OppStartsatHome.

Ryan Haygood’s op-Ed

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