Pike Road schools Superintendent Chuck Ledbetter speaks as he surveys the lunchroom at Pike Road High School in Pike Road, Ala., Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. Carving out of new school districts in the South is increasingly dividing white students from their black and Latino peers, reinforcing segregation, according to a new study published Wednesday in AERA Open, a journal of the American Educational Research Association. (AP Photo/Jeff Amy)

Study finds carving up school districts worsens segregation

September 04, 2019 - 12:20 am

PIKE ROAD, Ala. (AP) — A new study finds that carving out new school districts in the South is reinforcing racial segregation in the larger districts left behind.

Leaders of one Alabama district say it's unfair to characterize creation of their school system as racially motivated, noting a large minority of African American students. They also say they can't control the choices of parents, who otherwise might choose other public or private schools with higher shares of white students.

But schools left behind in the remaining district grew blacker, as in other areas studied, according to research published Wednesday in AERA Open, a journal of the American Educational Research Association.

The issue is particularly important, the report's authors say, because of a 1974 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that courts couldn't order desegregation across district lines.

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