In addition to improving aging school facilities across the district, a proposal could leverage a 2020 bond election to address longtime historical inequities in neighborhoods that were redlined and segregated decades ago.
Sobering data shows how redlining–which was the historical practice of denying access of services to certain races or ethnicities living in certain areas–directly correlates to current areas of high poverty and high needs in the City of Dallas. During a Jan. 9 briefing to the board of trustees, Chief of Staff Pam Lear said Dallas ISD could use a 2020 bond to play a role in addressing these historical injustices.
“Many of our students are faced with repercussions every day that come from this city’s legacy of racism, segregation and redlining.” Lear said. “Consequently, students are far from receiving access and opportunity that their peers in other neighborhoods receive. This is unacceptable.”
The proposal under consideration would use some 2020 bond dollars to build four community centers in the Pinkston, Roosevelt, Lincoln and Spruce high school neighborhoods. In addition to other indexes, Dallas ISD examined more than 20 different data points–such as access to primary health care and wages–to identify the neighborhoods that could most benefit from these community centers.
Dallas ISD Racial Equity Chief Leslie Williams said feedback from the community, neighborhoods and stakeholders is necessary to identify what services and needs the centers could meet. He added that outside partnerships and collaboration would be critical for the centers’ success.