Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: For better or worse, Florida schools reflect segregated neighborhoods

Florida's public school enrollment grows more diverse by the day, and yet schools are increasingly more segregated. A recent study by the LeRoy Collins Institute at Florida State University depicts a public school system where minority students are much more likely to be in a classroom that does not reflect the state's diversity. That's not healthy for the future of Florida or the students.

Some of this can be traced to population trends. In 1976, white children accounted for 70 percent of public school students in Florida. By 2014, white children were 40 percent. The portion of black children has decreased slightly (22.9 percent to 22.3 percent), but the Hispanic population has exploded. Hispanic children made up 6.5 percent of the public school system in Florida in 1976, but in 2014 they accounted for 30.9 percent of classroom seats, a nearly fivefold increase.

Despite this multicultural landscape, housing patterns and court rulings that put an end to the era of busing for desegregation have turned many schools into miniature versions of segregated neighborhoods. More than 700 schools in the state have student populations that are 90 percent or more minority.

A doubling of segregated schools in Florida

10.6% . 20.2 %

In 1994, roughly one out of every 10 public schools in Florida had a student population that was 90 percent or more nonwhite. By 2014, the percentage was 20.2, or one out of every five schools.

Hillsborough and Pinellas student population

NationalHillsboroughPinellas
White49.333.555.9
Black15.321.118.6
Hispanic25.935.216.4

Pinellas and Hillsborough are completely different districts when it comes to the makeup of schools. Pinellas schools have a greater portion of white students than the national average, while Hispanic children now outnumber white children in Hillsborough schools.

Portion of charter school enrollment that is white

Florida Pinellas

35.1% 68.2%

In Florida, just 35.1 percent of charter school students are white while 39.7 percent are Hispanic. That trend does not extend to Pinellas County, where the portion of students in charter schools who are white is nearly double the state average, at 68.2 percent.

Fewer all-white schools

18.4% . 41.0%

While many more schools are now almost exclusively filled with minorities, fewer schools are all-white. In 1994, only 18.4 percent of white students in Florida attended a multiracial school, which is defined by having at least 10 percent of three or more racial/ethnic groups. By 2014, 41 percent of white students attended multiracial schools.

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Editorial: Improving foster care in Hillsborough

Editorial: Improving foster care in Hillsborough

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Another voice: Back to postal reform

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Updated: 9 hours ago
Editorial: Congress should protect independence of special counsel

Editorial: Congress should protect independence of special counsel

A bipartisan Senate bill clarifying that only the attorney general or a high-ranking designee could remove a special prosecutor would send an important message amid President Donald Trump’s attacks on the investigation into Russia’s inter...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18
Editorial: Donít fall for Constitution Revision Commissionís tricks

Editorial: Donít fall for Constitution Revision Commissionís tricks

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission has wasted months as a politically motivated scam masquerading as a high-minded effort to ask voters to improve the stateís fundamental document. The commission on Monday added amendments to the November b...
Published: 04/16/18
Editorial: Rednerís court win on medical marijuana sends message

Editorial: Rednerís court win on medical marijuana sends message

Florida regulators have done far too little to make voter-approved medical marijuana widely available for patients suffering from chronic illnesses. A circuit court judge in Tallahassee ruled last week there is a price for that obstruction, finding t...
Published: 04/15/18
Updated: 04/16/18
Editorial: Hillsborough commission should quit expanding urban area

Editorial: Hillsborough commission should quit expanding urban area

Any movement on modernizing local transportation is welcome, even small steps like the million dollars the state recently approved to design a Tampa Bay regional transit plan.But the region wonít make any progress on transportation, its single most p...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Editorial: Fight harder on citrus greening

A new report by scientists advising the federal government finds no breakthrough discovery for managing citrus greening, a chronic disease killing Floridaís citrus industry. This should be a wake-up call to bring greater resources to the fight.The re...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Editorial: Floridians should focus more on health

A new snapshot of the nationís health shows a mixed picture for Florida and the challenges that residents and the health care community face in improving the quality of life.Americans are living longer, exercising more and doing better at managing th...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18
Editorial: 5 key issues where Scott, Nelson differ in Senate race

Editorial: 5 key issues where Scott, Nelson differ in Senate race

Gov. Rick Scott kicked off his U.S. Senate campaign last week by reciting tired lines about career politicians and mischaracterizing himself as an outsider. That pitch may have worked during the tea party wave eight years ago, but now the Republican ...
Published: 04/10/18
Updated: 04/13/18
Editorial: St. Petersburg should move carefully on banning straws

Editorial: St. Petersburg should move carefully on banning straws

St. Petersburg city officials are exploring how to cut down on single-use plastic straws, a commendable effort to make the city even more environmentally minded. But to succeed, City Council members should craft a modest, reasonable restriction that ...
Published: 04/10/18