Education and Literacy
It’s been over 60 years since the Supreme Court’s ruling on Brown v. Board of Education deemed segregation unconstitutional and desegregated schools across the United States. Yet segregation in terms of educational opportunities still exist today. Across the U.S., Black and Brown students are less likely to receive a quality education than white students. This disparity is not due to academic achievement; it’s a lack of resources and funding.

According to The Education Trust, districts with higher percentages of students of color receive 16% less state and local funding than majority white districts. This often translates to larger class sizes, fewer educational resources, and less 1:1 help for students in these districts.

Just the mere presence of books in a household correlate to vocabulary development, academic achievement, and future professional success. Black and Brown children are more likely than white children to live in book deserts – areas where most homes have less than 100 books – meaning that they are less likely to cash in on the benefits associated with having access to more books.

Today’s resources will explore the barriers Black and Brown children face to quality education, and how some programs are helping change that narrative.

  • This article in The Atlantic explains what book deserts are and how access to quality books can be determined by the income of an area.

  • Read this blog post to learn more about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a low-barrier book program hosted locally by United Way of Whatcom County. This program allows any child in Whatcom County to receive one book monthly until their fifth birthday, regardless of their family’s income. 
  • This data allows you to explore student course outcomes by district. Notice the disparities in outcomes between demographics.