A community rejects neighborhood schools in favor of providing an equitable education for all students.
After more than 20 years of living with a massive busing plan to achieve integration and the most pervasive court desegregation order in U.S. history, our community—the Brandywine school district in Wilmington, Delaware—voted by a wide margin not to return to neighborhood schools, choosing instead to maintain our schools' socioeconomic and racial diversity. Although some citizens voted with their pocketbooks after evaluating how much returning to neighborhood schools would cost, the dominant theme at public meetings was the need to ensure equitable access to the best possible education for all students in the district's schools.
Even though our district faced this issue because of a particular court desegregation order and its aftermath, we believe that other districts may be facing similar situations as racial and economic diversity increases across the United States. We do not know how well the process we used applies to other places or how long our community's commitment will last. But we are certain that the challenge of ensuring equitable access to high-quality education in the United States will continue and require fundamentally new approaches to leadership.
Desegregation in Wilmington