The Demographics of School District Secession

Alexandra Cooperstock , Cornell University

A school district secession is a political tool that forms new school district boundaries after a formal withdrawal from an existing school district. I investigate whether school district secessions exacerbate racial and economic disparities and explore the underlying school district, community, and socio-historic characteristics predictive of a secession. This paper analyzes the school district secession attempts made since the year 2000 and builds upon past research focused on single district case studies and qualitative accounts. Initial results highlight that secessions create new school districts that have a higher share of white and affluent students on average compared to the districts left behind and that this trend is driven by the attempts located in the South.

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 Presented in Session 125. The Nexus of Neighborhood and School Segregation