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center for civic & public policy improvement
Weekly Brief, June 15, 2021
Focus: Education 

Housing Segregation & Educational Equity...

Redlined Map of Houston, Rice Kinder Digital Archive               The dream of desegregation is dying by Jackson Joyce 

Housing and education policy are inextricably linked. For the most part, students attend school in the neighborhood where they live. It has been over half a century since The Fair Housing Act (FHA) was passed in 1986 to remedy historic segregation, and integrate communities. All these years later, neighborhoods remain highly segregated by race and class. The FHA itself did nothing to undo centuries of state-sanctioned policies that excluded Black Americans from living where they wanted to live and raise their children where they could thrive, supported by a high-quality education. Despite Brown v. The Board of Education’s ruling in 1954, public schools also remain highly segregated. Racial segregation of neighborhoods has increased over the years and produced segregated neighborhood schools, especially for Black students who are more likely to live in “high poverty neighborhoods” with lower-quality schools. In fact, middle-income Black families are more likely to live in concentrated poverty, and more likely to send their children to high-poverty schools than low-income white families

Across the country, predominantly white school districts are far better off and receive better funding than non-white districts. In Texas, predominantly non-white school districts have 7% less funding on average than predominantly white school districts. In Houston ISD, 76% of Black students and 80% of Hispanic students attend high-poverty schools, compared to 14% of white students. The racial concentration of poverty in Houston’s public schools directly contributes to the academic achievement gap between students of color and white students. In a recent piece for Understanding Houston, Professor Ruth Lopez Turley begins by asking readers to let the following statistic really sink in: “In Houston, Black and Hispanic students on the average lag between 3.0 and 3.6 years behind white students, as if they were absent for a quarter of their K-12 schooling.” Like many inequities in our systems, COVID-19 only exacerbated this gap. According to data by McKinsey & Company, the pandemic set back learning for Black and Hispanic students (who were more likely to be fully remote and navigating limited broadband/technology access) an average of three to five months further back than white students.

Educational equity will never be attained through a siloed approach. We need to create policies at the federal, state, and local levels that look intersectionally at housing, education, anti-poverty, and pro-family support through an anti-racist lens to address the racist political and personal actions (of the past and present) that continue the harm caused by neighborhood and school segregation

To read more:

HB 3979, the “How-to Guide for Whitewashing History”  Heads to the Governor's Desk 

At the end of the legislative session, despite public outcry from teachers, parents, education advocates, and historians, the Texas legislature passed HB 3979, the bill that limits Texas public school teachers’ ability to educate students about race, gender, and justice. This bill threatens first amendment rights to freedom of speech, undermines existing TEA guidelines, and censors teachers’ ability to provide an inclusive and equitable learning environment that supports young people’s civic engagement. Black students, students of color, young women, LGBTQ students, and other marginalized students often already feel left out of their history, social studies, and government class curriculums. This bill is going to cause further harm by disallowing important discussions about the reality of historical and present-day racism and sexism and thus the potential to support youth engagement with transforming social inequities

Over 200 historians issued a letter in opposition to HB 3979 before its passage in the Texas Senate. In it, they state: “Students have a right to learn an accurate account of history, including the darkest parts of our history and the long efforts for freedom and social justice. A truthful accounting of history will allow students to learn the lessons of the past to help build a more equal and inclusive future. Removing lessons that teach students how ideas of race and gender shaped our laws and policies will academically disadvantage students in Texas.”

Click here to read a document prepared by the Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA) on the impact of HB 3979.

Pre-K is Critical:
87th Texas Legislative Session Early Childhood Education Bills Update...

HB 619 - Passed!  
HB 619 seeks to strengthen the retention of the early childhood workforce by building a strategic plan to improve credentials, education, and fair compensation for early childhood educators. This bill passed the Texas House and Senate and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.  

HB 2256 - Passed! 
HB 2256 creates a new Certificate in Bilingual Special Education, which allows educators to bring together the education and skills needed to address the needs of students with disabilities in a way that makes sense culturally and linguistically. This bill passed the Texas House and Senate and is awaiting the Governor’s signature
SB 2066, which updated the Education Code to change the terminology “limited English proficient” to “emergent bilingual”, has also passed the Texas House and Senate and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

HB 619 - Passed!  
SB 2081 caps pre-k class size at 22 students, the same cap for all elementary school grades (K - 4th grade). The bill pulls funding from the 2019 legislative session HB 3 to create more effective pre-k classrooms that are not overcrowded. This bill passed the Texas House and Senate and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

HB 41 - Not Passed. 
HB 41 required school districts to maintain a 1 to 11 pre-k ratio with one certified teacher and teacher's aide in addition to a maximum class size of 22.

Affordable Housing Progress...

St. Charles Place Apartments Now Leasing.
Construction is Complete!

The St. Charles Place Apartments is located at 3113 St. Charles Place at Elgin. They consist of 20 residential units including 2 studios, 2 one-bedroom units designed for individuals who are mobility impaired, and 16 one-bedroom units. 
Rents range from $600 to $975. Proof of income is required as there are maximum income restrictions for all households.
For more information please contact StressFree Property Solutions at
713-264-8240. To view photos, click here

One Emancipation Center Now Leasing. 
Construction is Complete!

Construction of the One Emancipation Center (Affordable Housing Operations Center) is complete. It is located at 3131 Emancipation Ave., Houston, TX 77004. This five-story building will house CCPPI and other agencies dedicated to affordable housing development, advocacy, and economic growth of the community. Those interested in lease information, renderings, and marketing materials, please contact our commercial realtor partners Ed Ryland, ARVO, or Chip Horne, Cushman & Wakefield. To view photos, click here

Development Opportunities:
There are development opportunities to create affordable housing in Houston that are regularly updated on the CCPPI website. You can find those contract opportunities here.

Check out our Social Media pages below for updates on CCPPI’s work, local advocacy efforts, and news stories on the topics of housing, healthcare, education, and criminal justice and safety. 

The Center for Civic and Public Policy Improvement is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing policies that promote human, civic, social, and economic justice, and to taking the necessary action to affect progress in all areas of civic improvement throughout the culturally diverse communities
in the Southern United States.

Copyright © 2021 CCPPI, All rights reserved.

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