North Carolina Schools Are Resegregating

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, once held as an example for how to integrate a public school system, is now the most racially and socio-economically segregated school district in North Carolina. In 2001, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals declared Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s school assignment plan, which was created with the goal of racial integration, illegal. This set back not only Charlotte-Mecklenburg, but school districts all over the state as they decided when and if it was appropriate to prioritize racial integration.

School choice also became a hot-button issue. Some white and high-income families flocked to magnet, charter and private schools, shifting the demographics of neighborhood public schools. This trend is likely increasing in the midst of the pandemic, said Amy Hawn Nelson, director of training and technical assistance for Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice.