Can School Policy Become Housing Policy?: Walking Across the City-Suburban Line in Memphis
by Genevieve Siegel-Hawley - October 17, 2011
The Memphis area has recently taken steps to bridge the traditionally divisive impact of district boundary lines through a city-suburban school system merger. What still remains to be seen, however, is whether the newly enlarged school system will craft policies that take advantage of the absence of the city/suburban district line. If school officials do so, they will be recognizing a critical but often overlooked principle: when thinking about student assignment across a broadly-conceived community, school policy can, in some ways, become housing policy. This commentary examines the relationship between school and residential segregation, using the example of Memphis to explore several avenues for fostering a more cohesive consideration of school and housing policy.
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