President Obama's call for an "Opportunity Agenda" in 2014?* At HUD, this needs to include an early release and implementation of the final "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule," and a serious commitment to fair housing reforms in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, our largest assisted housing program. Stay tuned...
One step forward, one step back for diverse charter schools at the Department of Education: Responding to critiques of a charter school lottery rule that prevented some middle class charter schools from enacting a preference for low income children and children with special needs, the Department has issued new "weighted lottery" rules that will permit charters to be more inclusive in their admissions policies (but note that the new rule only goes part way - it does not allow lottery practices to ensure even enrollment across a district by zip code or pull equally from urban and suburban areas to promote diversity). See Rick Kahlenberg and Halley Potter's post about the new rule here.
At the same time, in another part of their charter school programs, the Department released competitive grant guidelines that completely ignore the importance of school diversity in charters. See our comments here. Why is the Department of Education so reluctant to adopt funding incentives that would promote school integration? Our colleague Derek Black addressed this recurring conundrum in his latest blog post "Investing in Integration:What a Second Year Law School Knows and the Department of Education Cannot Figure Out."
Other Resources and Events
For law students interested in civil rights - Registration is open for the 27th Annual Robert M. Cover Retreat - "Lawyering for Civil Rights in the 21st Century": Gather among the birch and white pines of southern New Hampshire to meet public interest law students, scholars, and practitioners from across the country. The Cover Retreat weekend includes a wide range of interesting public interest topics, but it is also a weekend to relax and enjoy some time away from the law school environment. February 28-March 2, 2014, at the Sargent Center in Peterborough, NH. Cost: $160 (includes retreat fees, lodging, and all meals/food). Sponsored by Yale Law School and Society of American Law Teachers (SALT). Register at www.law.yale.edu/news/coverretreat14.htm by February 14.
"The Dream Revisited: A Slow Debate on the Role that Segregation in Neighborhoods and Schools Plays in Hindering Economic and Racial Equality," is a project of the Integration Research Initiative, led by NYU's Furman Center. Through the Integration Research Initiative (IRI), the Furman Center has also collaborated with NYU's Straus Institute to bring together scholars from across the U.S. and Europe for a year long collaborative exploration of the causes and consequences of segregation (PRRAC's Executive Director Phil Tegeler is a member of the IRI advisory board). If you want to receive future posts from the project, sign up here.
* p.s. - congratulations to our colleagues at the Opportunity Agenda for having their organization's name appropriated by the President in his speech!
(If you received this from a colleague, and want to sign up for our biweekly email, click here