On D.C. School Closings – Dual Standards

Friday March 1, 2013

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In 2008 the District closed 23 public schools. Those closures followed the closing of some 55 public schools, beginning in 1976. Recently, Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced yet another round of closings, 15 in total, including 13 at the end of this school year and two additional schools at the end of next school year.

It is clear and undisputable that the closings in 2008 and those scheduled for 2013 and 2014 have had and will have a disproportionate impact on students of color and individuals with disabilities. These school closings have been and are being undertaken by the District without demonstrating educational necessity and without considering other, equally and perhaps more effective measures to reduce costs at a lesser burden on the affected classes.

While the United States Constitution requires colorblind policies and practices to promote equal educational opportunity these school closings do not. Indeed, these school closings promote less educational opportunity for students of color and individuals with disabilities and at the same time continue to promote a dual and disparate school system within the D.C. Public Schools.

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