The Colorado Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is hosting a series of online and in-person panel briefings to hear testimony regarding school attendance zones in Colorado. The Committee intends to provide the Commission with their findings and recommendations on this topic. The first panel in this series – Understanding the Issue – will take place:
Panel I – Wednesday, February 1, 2023, 3:00 pm MT
Zoom Audio/Video: https://tinyurl.com/2s49wt8k; passcode, if needed: USCCR-CO
Audio Only: 1-551-285-1373; Meeting ID: 160 058 4700#
The Committee is looking at public school attendance zones in Colorado and whether they comply with the Equal Educational Opportunity Act of 1974. Traditionally, school districts create attendance zones around each physical school building. These zones provide children who reside in that zone an absolute right or a substantial advantage to attend that school. Nationally, over 80 percent of public school students attend the school to which they are assigned on the basis of residence. The Committee is looking at whether school districts draw or gerrymander attendance zones.
The Committee will hear from Meredith Richards, Associate Professor of Education Policy at Southern Methodist University, and Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, Associate Professor, Educational Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University.
“The Advisory Committee is examining whether public school attendance zones increase segregation,” said Chair Alvina Earnhart. “In Colorado, schools in the Denver area rank above average in most measures of segregation by race and among the most segregated by income. And this remains true despite over a decade of working toward integrated public school attendance zones.”
Members of the public will be invited to speak during an open comment period at the end of the briefing. Members of the public are encouraged to share their experiences and perspectives on public school attendance zones.