To the Editor:
The article “Study Finds Housing Aid No Path to Better Education” (Dec. 5, 2012) reported on something that is highly consequential to teaching and learning: concentrated poverty.
Policymakers ought to realize that there is a connection between schooling and public housing assistance. Indeed, all children require safe and reliable housing, but they need good schools, too. The reality is that segregated housing continues to lead to segregated schools. Meanwhile, wealthier families do not want poorer children to attend their children’s schools. If advantaged families perceive that their school is becoming integrated along lines of race and class, they will simply relocate.
Thank you for reporting on public housing’s connection to education, and I hope that policymakers understand that housing is not a panacea for better education. You cannot have one without the other; schools and housing are connected.
Nicholas D. Hartlep
Assistant Professor of Educational Foundations
Illinois State University
A version of this article appeared in the January 23, 2013 edition of Education Week as Public Housing, Education Are Intertwined