Support redrawn school boundaries

Students of different socioeconomic statuses should be integrated.

by Editorial board

Traditionally an urban issue, racial segregation is present in American suburbia as well. With increasingly uneven wealth distribution in the nation, education of low-income children âÄî who are disproportionately ethnic minorities âÄî is undoubtedly a core issue.

Last fall the affluent school district in Eden Prairie, with high test scores and extracurricular success, boldly redrew the boundary lines for elementary students. The change was meant to address an achievement gap at one particular elementary school with mostly minority students. This change is beneficial for the students.

School board elections last week, however, revealed that many parents donâÄôt want the boundaries changed and are fighting against it. The board now comprises a majority of opponents to the redrawing initiative, putting the boundary change in jeopardy.

While this is exactly the way that democracy should work, it is also the way in which minorities are confined to having a small amount of agency and voice in an aspect of society critical to economic success.

Apart from the social benefits of diversity that students would obtain from the new boundaries, the inequality in education opportunities âÄî polarized in an affluent neighborhood âÄî is diminished when low-income students are integrated, especially access to and preparedness for a higher education. We should give all those students a fighting chance and an equally high-quality education.

Unless, as a society, we do not believe in affording all children equal opportunities, turning back the page on initiatives to integrate children from low-income families is not a fair resolution to the recurring issue of divided wealth and class immobility.