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Equity & Diversity

Education Department Maps School Boundaries

By Sarah D. Sparks — July 29, 2015 1 min read

Sometimes districts need a 20,000-foot look at how their policies affect students. A soon-to-be-released federal mapping project will give district leaders that perspective when it comes to school attendance zones.

The School Attendance Boundary Survey, expected to be released this summer, will include maps of the attendance zones of some 90 percent of all schools in the country. The survey, and an accompanying mapping tool expected to be out in November, will help districts plan school sites and reduce gerrymandering that can lead to racial segregation in schools.

Meredith Richards, an assistant professor in education policy at Southern Methodist University in Dallas who studied an earlier pilot of the data, said:

People are talking so much about school choice, but the most common form of school choice is still residential choice," said Ms. Richards. "Everybody's concerned about political gerrymandering, but nobody really blinks an eye at gerrymandered school districts."

Check out more about the mapping survey and Richards’ research.

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