New Jersey’s schools are among the top six most
racially segregated in the country
higher proficiency rates on state standardized tests among third graders attending a diverse school
Latino and black students attend public schools that are attended by more than 90 percent children of color
of black and Latino children attending racially segregated schools in New Jersey come from low-income families
All children learn best when they have the opportunity to attend diverse schools and learn alongside students with different racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.
They are more likely to graduate high school; achieve higher standardized test scores, attend college, and earn higher income. Yet New Jersey’s schools are among the top six most racially segregated in the country. And the situation is getting worse.
The campaign to integrate New Jersey’s schools is one of the central civil rights struggles of our time. It is key to tackling poverty and inequality. It is essential to making our state economically competitive in the global economy.
This situation also violates New Jersey’s Constitution, which explicitly prohibits racial segregation in public schools.
WHO WE ARE
We are a diverse coalition of community leaders, parents, faith leaders, civil rights advocates and members of the business community who have come together to tackle this problem head on. We are asking the courts to strike down two state laws that drive segregation in education and prevent our children from achieving their full potential. Our plan draws on the best, cutting-edge research and will expand the range of public school options available to students while emphasizing the creation of high-performing magnet schools and policies that strengthen our existing public schools. We know the struggle ahead will be long, but we are committed because success is vital to the future of our democracy.
GARY S. STEIN
Former Associate Justice of the New Jersey
Supreme Court (Retired)
Member, Rutgers School of Law Board of Governors & Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University of Law (Retired)
Professor, Rutgers University School of Law (formerly Director of Litigation, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.)
Member, Rutgers University Board of Governors & Senior Fellow, Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, SUNY
We are a diverse coalition of community leaders, parents, faith leaders, civil rights advocates and members of the business community who have come together to tackle this problem head on. In May 2018, our members filed a lawsuit on behalf of families across our state seeking to enforce the New Jersey Constitution’s guarantee. We’re asking the court to order New Jersey’s governor, education commissioner and Legislature to make important reforms to our state’s school system. The state education commissioner would have three months to develop a comprehensive remediation plan that tackles the problem of school segregation.
We don’t want to impose a one size fits all solution. New Jersey’s schools can adopt a number of reforms that expand opportunities for children of different races to learn together. Some of the reforms schools can implement include:
Implementing voluntary transfer plans. Parents in select school districts could agree to send their children to schools in other districts in ways that increase diversity while expanding educational opportunities.
Creating new magnet schools that draw students from many school districts. These new magnet schools would be centers of educational excellence, focusing on specific subjects – like science and math – or implementing rigorous educational curricula that prepare students for college. In Connecticut, students from the suburbs travel up to an hour each way to attend magnet schools in downtown Hartford because of their stellar academic reputation.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
A level playing field in which New Jerseyans of every race and income level are given the tools they need to succeed
Reforms that foster integration in New Jersey schools and that give every child in our state the chance to receive a quality education
Action to create a diverse, inclusive New Jersey school system that benefits all students