Press Release

School District Borders Segregate Students By Income

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Contact name: Yi Li Phone: (805) 630-1533 Email:

JERSEY CITY, NJ, August 23, 2016- Today, EdBuild released a new report, Fault Lines: America’s Most Segregating School District Borders – a first-of-its-kind spatial analysis of all 33,500 school district borders in the country that identifies the nation’s 50 most segregating school district borders.

The single most segregating school district border lies between Detroit City School District and Grosse Pointe Public Schools: While almost half of Detroit students live in poverty, the poverty rate in neighboring Grosse Pointe is just 7%. School district borders along Birmingham, Alabama; Clairton, Pennsylvania; Dayton, Ohio; and Balsz, Arizona are also among the very most segregating in the country.

The average school district borders five other districts and the average school district border lies between districts with a 7% difference in student-age poverty rates.

Today, half of America’s schoolchildren live in high-poverty school districts, often bordered by much more affluent neighbors. But a previous EdBuild analysis found that high-poverty school districts tend to have $500 less in per pupil revenue than low-poverty school districts.

Because much of education funding comes from local property taxes, wealthy communities have an incentive to draw school district boundaries to avoid sharing resources with low-income communities. EdBuild’s report finds that nearly 3,400 school district borders divide districts with a difference in poverty rate of 15% or more – more than double the national average.

“For many underfunded, high-need school districts, the missing resources are just around the corner,” said EdBuild CEO Rebecca Sibilia. “The funding is there, but school district borders keep it locked away from the kids who need it most.” Research shows that low-income students benefit from attending schools where they are integrated with more affluent peers. Moreover, schools serving a high concentration of low-income students face particular challenges, like deteriorating infrastructure and a historical lack of investment.

“Our current school funding systems are essentially creating pockets of abject poverty next to bastions of wealth,” Sibilia said.

EdBuild is working to bring common sense and fairness to the way states fund schools. Founded in 2014, EdBuild has worked actively with state leaders and stakeholders to accelerate change and spark dialogue. For more information, visit

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