School & District Management What the Research Says

Race of Gentrifying Families Affects School Enrollment

By Christina A. Samuels — November 12, 2019 1 min read

Gentrification in the past decade is linked with declining enrollment in neighborhood schools—but the race of new families moving into the neighborhood changes the equation, finds a study in the journal Urban Education.

In 2000, roughly 20 percent of urban schools served neighborhoods with concentrated poverty, the study found. Of those schools, about 1 in 5 gentrified by 2014, defined as an influx of college-educated middle or upper-middle class families and community reinvestment.

Overall, schools in gentrified neighborhoods serve 32,000 fewer students than similar schools in nongentrified areas. But, while the decline in enrollment was sharpest when the gentrifying families were predominantly or entirely white, schools saw an increase in the number of black students enrolled when the gentrification was driven by nonwhite families.

A version of this article appeared in the November 13, 2019 edition of Education Week as Race of Gentrifying Families Affects School Enrollment

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