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TOWARDS A THEORY OF EQUITABLE FEDERATED REGIONALISM IN PUBLIC EDUCATION: REVERSING THE ROLE OF SCHOOL DISTRICT BOUNDARY LINES IN DISMANTLING BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION

Erika Wilson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Abstract

School quality and resources vary dramatically across school district boundary lines. Students who live mere miles apart have access to vastly different and disparate educational opportunities based upon which side of a school district boundary line their home is located. Owing in large part to metropolitan fragmentation, most school districts and the larger localities in which they are situated, are segregated by race and class. Further, because of a strong ideological preference for localism in public education, local government law structures in most states do not require or even encourage collaboration between school districts in order to address disparities between neighboring school districts. As a result, the combination of metropolitan fragmentation and staunch adherence to localism in public education leads to poor and minority students being excluded from access to high quality school districts which are for the most part clustered in more affluent and predominately white localities.

This Article contends that given the race and class based exclusionary effects that metropolitan fragmentation and localism have on public education, the time has come to reconsider the wholesale commitment to localism in public. It suggests that in some instances public education should be disseminated on a regional basis rather than a local basis. It examines how regionalism—a theoretical framework which advocates for the enactment of regional government or governance structures—might be enacted in public education. Borrowing from two specific theories of regionalism, equitable regionalism and federated regionalism, it proposes a framework entitled “Equitable Federated Regionalism” for disseminating public education on a regional basis.

Suggested Citation

Erika Wilson. 2013. "TOWARDS A THEORY OF EQUITABLE FEDERATED REGIONALISM IN PUBLIC EDUCATION: REVERSING THE ROLE OF SCHOOL DISTRICT BOUNDARY LINES IN DISMANTLING BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION" ExpressO
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/erika_wilson/2