Local transportation officials should actively work to reduce segregation and promote equal access to quality schools, three Cabinet members say in a “dear colleague” letter released last week [PDF].
The message from Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, HUD Secretary Julián Castro, and Education Secretary John King urges transportation, housing, and education officials at all levels of government to work together to ensure that people aren’t excluded from economic and educational opportunities.
The call to action builds on HUD’s 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which requires local governments that receive federal housing funds to analyze segregation patterns and develop plans to reduce it.
“We recognize that a growing body of research supports the benefits of socioeconomic and racial diversity in schools and communities, and that such diversity can help establish access points for opportunity and mobility,” Foxx, Castro, and King wrote. “We also recognize that children raised in concentrated poverty or in communities segregated by socioeconomic status or race or ethnicity have significantly lower social and economic mobility than those growing up in integrated communities.”
In the transportation sphere, the letter recommends a few steps to take. To paraphrase: