We have a racially and economically segregated society. One way to combat that problem is to create well-funded schools with excellent academic resources in historically poor minority areas of the community, and then supply transportation to those schools from wealthier, non-minority neighborhoods.
But kids don’t like long bus rides, a problem that families can solve by moving closer to the school, thereby reducing segregation and still giving their kids a top-notch education. In addition, the wealthier families improve the neighborhood economy.
And the children in integrated schools learn the value of a society that does not wall off its poor from its rich or treat those with a different ethnicity as second-class citizens.
However, we are going in the wrong direction, by encouraging “boutique” schools for wealthy families, without the overhead that poor minorities or the disabled bring. These families can afford their own transportation, can privately finance school improvements, and give themselves superior access to higher education.
As they pull away from integrated schools and neighborhoods, they create a self-fulfilling prophecy that justifies their actions.
And the children, isolated from the diversity of their community, have their minds shaped by stereotypes and bigotry, and the cycle repeats.
Richard Moore, Fresno