More than a third of U.S. students attended a racially segregated public school during the 2020-21 school year, according to a new report released by the Government Accountability Office, per NBC News.
On Thursday (July 14), a 45-page analysis on racial and socioeconomic equity in public schools from 2020 to 2021 revealed that nearly 19 million students across the U.S. attended institutions where at least 75 percent of their peers were of the same race or ethnicity.
According to the report, the total student population has become more diverse in recent years, yet inequity persists.
“Ensuring equal access to educational opportunity — a key component of the Department of Education’s mission — remains a persistent challenge,” Jackie Nowicki, the lead author of the study, said.
The report also shows that nearly seven million students went to schools where at least 90 percent of their classmates were all of one race or ethnicity.
Nearly 50 percent of the students who attended racially segregated schools were white, the data revealed, while Black students only made up 23 percent of the K-12 children who went to institutions where at least three-fourths of their peers were of their own racial or ethnic background.
The Government Accountability Office also found that school districts “seceding” from existing districts over the past decade created higher concentrations of white students — the resulting new, smaller districts were generally wealthier, with some exceptions.
The data was given to U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott, the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, on June 16. Scott said that “every American should be alarmed” by the results of the report.
“We know that school segregation doesn’t just isolate low-income students and students of color; it also deprives them of equal access to educational opportunities and resources,” Scott said.
The report has also been provided to the Department of Education and Department of Justice for review.