Subsidized housing and school segregation: Examining the relationship between federally subsidized affordable housing and racial and economic isolation in schools

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Abstract

Each year, the federal government provides billions of dollars in support for low-income families in their acquisition of housing. In this analysis, we examine how several of these subsidized housing programs, public housing and Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) financed housing, relate to patterns of school segregation for children. We use GIS to examine the location of subsidized housing vis-à-vis district boundaries and school attendance boundaries in four Texas counties. We then examine patterns of segregation between schools with and without subsidized housing in their attendance zones, as well as the extent of economic and racial isolation experienced by students in those schools. Our results illustrate that public housing and LIHTC housing developments are zoned to racially and economically isolated schools, and that developments are associated with especially high levels of economic and racial isolation for Black and Latinx students. We conclude by discussing implications for housing and education policy to ameliorate these patterns. 

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How to Cite
Holme, J. J., Frankenberg, E., Sanchez, J., Taylor, K., De La Garza, S., & Kennedy, M. (2020). Subsidized housing and school segregation: Examining the relationship between federally subsidized affordable housing and racial and economic isolation in schools. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 28, 169. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.28.5290
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Author Biographies

Jennifer Jellison Holme, The University of Texas at Austin

Jennifer Jellison Holme, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on the politics and implementation of educational policy, with a particular focus on the relationship between school reform, equity and diversity in schools

Erica Frankenberg, Pennsylvania State University

Erica Frankenberg, Ph.D., is Professor of Education and Demography and Director of the Center for Education and Civil Rights at Pennsylvania State University. Her research interests focus on racial desegregation and inequality in K-12 schools, and the connections between school segregation and other metropolitan policies

Joanna Sanchez, Excelencia in Education

Joanna Sanchez, Ph.D., is a Senior Researcher at Excelencia in Education. Her research interests include Latino/a parental engagement in public schools, GIS and spatial analysis in education policy, school/family/community partnerships, and STEM Education.

Kendra Taylor

Kendra Taylor received her Ph.D. from the Department of Education Policy Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. Her research interests include school segregation, restorative justice in schools, the school to prison pipeline, and the use of GIS for policymaking and analysis.

Sarah De La Garza, The University of Texas at Austin

Sarah De La Garza is a doctoral student in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests center on educational leadership programs, school-based mental health programs, program implementation of bilingual education models, charter schools, and critical race theory.

Michelle Kennedy, The University of Texas at Austin

Michelle Kennedy is a doctoral student in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include federal education policy, educational policy networks, and the intersectionality of education, economic, and housing policy and its impact on equity.