The Potential for Land Use and Housing Reform to Address School Segregation and Educational Opportunity
Policy Brief - Feb 13, 2024
Author(s) - Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, Virginia Commonwealth University
Housing, land use, and zoning policies are often siloed in such a way that they are considered and addressed separately from school segregation and students' opportunities to learn. But these policy areas can interact in powerful ways. Professor Genevieve Siegel-Hawley of Virginia Commonwealth University explores how in a new NEPC policy brief, The Potential for Land Use and Housing Reform to Address School Segregation and Educational Opportunity, in which she examines the potential of housing and land use policy reform to address school segregation. Professor Siegel-Hawley describes the key role that has been played by discriminatory land use planning and zoning regulations. These laws contributed to the unequal wealth distribution currently afflicting the nation, and those inequities-as well as those laws themselves-now shape access to an array of public goods, including schools. Neighborhood-based school assignment creates a direct link between segregated housing and segregated schools. More positively, zoning initiatives in recent years have proliferated to roll back the use of land for exclusionary purposes, with important implications for schools.