In the first Democratic presidential debate, the dispute between Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris over school desegregation pivoted to California. On the defensive for his past opposition to mandatory busing, Biden noted that as California’s attorney general, Harris did nothing to desegregate the state’s schools.
The same could be said of most California school officials, including those in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Indeed, Superintendent Austin Beutner’s recent 15-page plan for improving schools makes no mention whatsoever of confronting the district’s high levels of racial and socioeconomic segregation.
Some believe school integration is irrelevant in districts like L.A. Unified, the nation’s second-largest, given the relatively few white and middle-class children who use the public school system.
But New York City and Chicago — the largest and third-largest school systems in the country, respectively — have in recent years taken important steps to integrate their schools. And a significant new proposal from L.A. school board member Kelly Gonez could help the district catch up. Her resolution calls for the superintendent to convene a research collaborative to make recommendations by June 2020 on how to reduce segregation through new school choice programs in Los Angeles. Click here to read more: http://laschoolreport.com/kahlenberg-school-segregation-isnt-a-big-issue-in-l-a-but-it-should-be-n-y-and-chicago-are-working-to-integrate-their-schools-and-l-a-should-too-gonezs-proposal-is/