School Choice and Integration among Students in Los Angeles County
Valerie Ledwith, University of California, Los Angeles
In 1954, the Supreme Court declared the end of de-jure segregation in Brown v. Board of Education, and US public schools became the primary arena in which the struggle for racial integration and equality played out. This paper addresses the ongoing issue of segregation in the context of school choice. First, I compare the ethnic composition of public schools to the composition of their neighborhoods and assess whether the presence of private, magnet or charter schools affect the relationship between school and neighborhood composition. In the second part of the paper, I use data from the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey (LAFANS) to examine how family, neighborhood and school characteristics affect the odds of attending school outside one’s residential area and whether there is evidence that attendance at “non-neighborhood” schools is related to racial and ethnic preferences or avoidance patterns.