Dallas hoping for diversity with new specialty schools

Dallas ISD is working to get more middle class families into its schools with help from the city council.

On Wednesday the school district’s Chief of Transformation and Innovation said the district is one of the most economically and racially segregated school districts in the nation. Mike Koprowski said they’re as segregated today as they were in the late 1960s.

School administrators hope the change that by partnering with the city of Dallas to create housing plans that will integrate the schools.

While the district works on creating schools with attractive programs, Dallas ISD wants the city to work on attracting upper and middle income families to low income areas and provide affordable housing in more affluent areas.

“There’s a growing consensus among parents. They want their children in a diverse setting. That’s the reality of the world. Employers want people who can work with people on a diverse team. It’s what employers are looking for and parents are looking for,” Koprowski said.

“If we start investing in neighborhoods in a way that makes those neighborhoods attractive, it will attract the middle class back and those schools will be the most convenient for those neighbors,” added Philip Kingston, a Dallas City Council member.

This fall Dallas ISD will open its first serious attempt at a socioeconomic integration in east Dallas. Solar Prep will be an all-girls school with the popular K through 8 model at the former Bonham Elementary campus.

The district said so many affluent families are applying for spots that it is reserving half of the seats for low-income students. Transportation will be provided to those children.

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