4 Ways Racial Inequity Harms American Schoolchildren

By Jeffrey Pierre for npr.org

The police killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., have sparked a national conversation around racial justice. But the country’s racial justice problems aren’t limited to policing — American schools have long struggled with racial inequity.

“Our students of color are treated differently in our schools,” Kim Ellison, who chairs the Minneapolis Board of Education, told NPR earlier this month. A week after Floyd’s death, the board voted to end its contract with the city’s police department, which provided the district with school resource officers.

“It’s an issue of equity for us,” Ellison explained.

Equity has long been a problem in American education. In many ways, the issues playing out between police and communities of color — including implicit bias and overly harsh treatment — are playing out in schools, too.

Here are four things to know about how racial inequity affects the nation’s school children.

Black students are more likely to be arrested at school.

In the 2013-2014 school year, black students accounted for 16% of students enrolled in U.S. public schools, but 33% of arrests in those schools. That’s according to a 2017 analysis of federal data by the Education Week Research Center. Meanwhile, white students accounted for 50% of enrollment and 34% of arrests, and Hispanic students accounted for 25% enrollment and 25% of arrests.

Read more here.

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