It's no secret that the United States has a growing number of minorities. In fact, it's estimated that by 2040, the caucasian American population will be the minority racial group by plurality. So what does this mean for the future of the United States public school system?
To answer this question, let's take a look at school age kids by generation beginning with the baby boomers generation. The baby boomer generation was and still is a predominantly caucasian generation and so are generations x, and the millennials. However, the generation that is now making itself known in college and in the workforce is called generation Z. This is America's last predominantly caucasian generation. What does this mean for the future of American K-12 public education?
If immigration maintains its pace and minorities still reside in the United States, which they will, then classrooms will be much more diverse than they are now. America will need new policies and districts will have to require that educators obtain more diversity awareness and multicultural education training in order to ultimately prepare its educational system's infrastructure for these changes. As of the year 2020, America's most diverse schools were those in cities and suburban areas meaning that the most diverse populations also resided in mostly built-up, urban and suburban areas; however, rural areas were comprised of mostly caucasian residents, meaning that the schools in these areas were less diverse. As rural areas become more diverse in the next few decades (assuming immigration maintains its pace), America will need new policies and educator training for diversity awareness, but it will also need to place a much higher priority on equality so that every student has access to the same resources to succeed. The reason for this is because neighborhoods with higher property and local taxes are able to provide students with better services while poorer neighborhoods are not. How do we solve this?
There are two main solutions. The first option is to change the ways schools are funded. The United States currently uses a decentralized funding system, while many other countries, such as Finland, use a centralized school funding system. If we changed the funding system from decentralized to centralized, we could evenly distribute resources and funding to each state based on the needs of each local school district. This would allow for more equality as Schools would no longer be funded based on local taxes and impoverished school districts would not fall behind on their ability to distribute resources. The second option is redistricting. While this sounds crazy and unfair, it isn't as bad as most people think. This would not be a problem in smaller towns where there are only, for example, three schools, but would hypothetically create more equality for larger School districts. This means that the non-minority students would be placed in schools with more minorities. Over time this would raise test scores and prepare students for a rapidly changing global economy in which they would interact with students from a variety of backgrounds and other cultures. The idea is to have as many minority students in each school as non-minority students. It may sound crazy and even outrageous to some, but over time this would create more opportunity and boost test score and academic performance.
Thanks for reading! You can watch our accessible educational videos on YouTube here, and you can subscribe to our website so that you never miss another awesome article. Stay tuned because more incredible content is on the way!