Segregation by Race and Poverty in Pennsylvania Schools

Stephen Kotok, Katherine Reed


Attendance at schools with high concentrations of poverty or minority students is associated with various negative school and student outcomes, and school segregation is on the rise nationally. We use descriptive statistics, a P-star exposure index, and a decomposition technique to determine students’ exposure to other racial groups and to low-income students and to estimate how much of the exposure difference is due to school-, district-, and metropolitan-level segregation.  Our findings show that black and Latino students are both socioeconomically and racially segregated, and the majority of segregation in Pennsylvania occurs between districts within metropolitan areas, suggesting that policymakers must develop innovative integration strategies or re-organize Pennsylvania’s school districts.

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