Poverty and rollback of desegregation policies have resulted in separate and unequal education
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) was joined by her legislative colleagues today in commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision on May 17th with Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 140.
On May 17th, 1954 the United States Supreme Court overturned the “separate but equal” doctrine of the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision. The Court concluded that in the field of public education, the doctrine of separate but equal has no place and that separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Weber also noted that, despite two decades of positive effects on student outcomes from policies emanating from Brown, there have been efforts to rollback desegregation, leaving California students more segregated than ever.
“This was a landmark decision about how we see ourselves as a nation,” Weber said. “Sixty years later, we are again struggling with issues of equality and opportunity.
“My hope is that we don’t let this anniversary deceive us into thinking we’ve completely fulfilled the hopes of Brown,” Weber said. “A UCLA study released yesterday shows that Black and Latino students in California are once again segregated by race and by poverty.”
Weber has been outspoken on the necessity of mitigating the effects of poverty - malnutrition, inadequate healthcare, and a stressful and chaotic home life that have significant detrimental effects on learning and long-term academic outcomes.
“The 60th Anniversary of Brown is not just about commemoration, but also about commitment,” Weber said. “We need to take this milestone as a reminder to both recommit to integration and inclusion of minorities in our educational institutions and to refocus our efforts on programs that support families and children in their efforts to escape poverty.”