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It’s been 62 years since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the landmark case Brown vs. the Board of Education decision that school segregation was unconstitutional. Yesterday, on the anniversary of the Brown decision, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on K-12 education that confirms what many have feared for years. 

The GAO’s report says America’s public schools continue to be segregated by race and poverty, leading to inequities in education. Other key findings in the report include:

  • 65 percent of all high poverty schools are populated by at least 75 percent of students of color.
  • Black and Hispanic students have poverty rates that are 2-to-3 times higher than the rates of White students.
  • Hispanic students tend to be “triple segregated” by race, economics, and language.

To combat these issues, Democrats from the Congressional Committee on Education and the Workforce have introduced the Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act.

Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, and Rep. Bobby Scott joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss the Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act and the findings of the GAO report detailing the level of segregation in America’s schools.

Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) told Martin, “The (GAO) report, which was issued yesterday, showed what you and I already knew — there is massive segregation in the country and incredibly they found it’s getting worse — significantly more segregation now than in just 15 years ago.”

Rep. Scott and Rep. John Conyers’ (D-MI) Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act would address segregation in America’s schools by establishing a diversity officer in schools to ensure they are doing everything they can “to make sure parents have a private right of action so they don’t have to wait for the justice department” to intervene.

The Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act would also establish a Diversity Assistant Secretary to “make sure that somebody has the focus on” the segregation present in schools in the United States.

Morial said, “The essence of school segregation has been residential segregation.”

He continued, “It’s a tragedy that in 2016, schools are more segregated and I would suggest that neighborhoods are not only racially segregated, but they are also economically segregated more now than ever.”

The CEO of the National Urban League also stated enforcement of civil rights laws by the Justice Department has been “sporadic depending upon who the president is.”  

NewsOne Now panelist Farajii Muhammad stated, “The GAO is confirming exactly what we’ve been knowing for at least 40 years … people might call it a conspiracy theory, but this shows that there’s a plan to keep the Black and Brown uneducated and very low-class.”

He added, “At this point, we either have to confront this issue, or we’re going to have another generation that’s going to continue to be behind.”

Watch Roland Martin, Rep. Bobby Scott, Marc Morial, and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the findings of the Government Accountability Office’s report detailing segregation in America’s schools in the video clip above.

TV One’s Now has moved to 7 A.M. ET, be sure to watch “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.

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