Redlining in school districts

How educational redlining impacts schools

Kalea Baker, Reporter

Redlining has been around since the late 1930’s and still continues to affect students in  school districts today. Redlining is similar to gerrymandering because they both consist of drawing lines to benefit a group of people. Redlining is the act of fencing off where banks would avoid investments due to community demographics. Many school districts draw their district lines based on these factors which leads to educational redlining. 

Educational redlining has occurred recently in Columbia with the new district lines that were drawn for middle schools and high schools. The Columbia School Board approved the new district lines and they show how different each school population is. 

According to the Columbia Daily Tribune, “The new district lines will increase the amount of students at Battle who qualify for free and reduced lunch from 54 percent to 55 percent while Hickman stays at 34 percent and Rockbidge stays at 18 percent.” 

There are many harmful effects of educational redlining and the outcomes negatively impacts the students attending affected schools.

 According to SchoolMint, “Students in segregated schools with concentrated poverty have poorer academic outcomes regardless of the students’ own economic status.”

Another organization, The Economic Policy Institute, also adds, “Classrooms with students that are less ready to learn are proven to be less effective because teachers are forced to spend less time learning and more time on controlling the class.”

On the other hand, there are a lot of facts that show students can benefit from being enrolled in integrated schools that have a large variety of students. This includes higher test scores and college enrollment rates, according to SchoolMint. In addition, The Century Foundation found that dropout rates are much lower in integrated schools than segregated schools. 

Redlining greatly impacts schools population and other aspects of the classroom. Research has proven that students  can experience a lot of negative effects when their school is segregated and can really benefit from being a part of an integrated school.