Sausalito: A Lesson in School Desegregation

The city of Sausalito has provided us with a recent example of state mandated desegregation, something that has not been practiced in California for a few decades. As it stands, there are only two schools in the Sausalito community, one being a charter school and the second being a traditional public school. The district was accused of creating a segregated school and of violating state anti-discrimination laws. The Washington Post reported that almost the entirety of the charter school’s student population consists of white students, while almost none of the traditional public school’s students are. The article went on to further report on the settlement reached by the Sausalito Marin City School District on Friday. This settlement would “unravel the segregation, compensate graduates who were harmed by it and build a more equitable system.” 

A common myth held against charter schools and an argument commonly used against school choice is that charter schools are responsible for separating students based on race and socioeconomic status. The Sausalito Marin City School District’s actions, in dividing their students predominantly by race between their two schools, is harming the narrative around school choice across California. This outcome is not the intention or the purpose of charter schools, instead it is presenting a false narrative that has the potential to harm the rights of parents in need of strong academic choices for their students in their home communities. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools clarified that “like all schools, anyone can go to a charter school regardless of socio-economic background…charter schools do not discriminate against students based on their household incomes, race, gender, or academic backgrounds.” 

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra told The Washington Post, “Every child — no matter their stripe or stature — deserves equal access to a quality education,” in a statement regarding the school district’s actions. I currently teach about 30 minutes away from the city of Sausalito in Richmond. While parents and caregivers in my local community are fighting for their right to school choice in seeking better outcomes for their students, it’s infuriating to see the people of Sausalito perpetuate the inequities for black and brown children locally. Let’s continue to hold every school district accountable for the academic outcomes of their students and hold true to our mission of providing just school choice for the families who so badly desire and fight for it.

 The average income in Sausalito is over $110,000 dollars a year, with the median property value exceeding $1 million dollars, according to a Data USA reporting.

What do you think?
The following two tabs change content below.
Daniela Felix

Daniela Felix

Daniela is a first generation college student who is heavily involved in education in her home district, West Contra Costa Unified. After becoming a mother at a young age, Daniela’s passion for education justice only intensified and she began to fight for an equitable education for all children, regardless of background or zip code. Daniela played a key role in organizing parents with the California Charter Schools Association and is a firm believer in school choice for all families. She is currently a Lead Organizer with Students for Education Reform, organizing college students around education justice issues in her home district. She was recently accepted into Teach for America and plans to continue impacting the lives of children in her hometown of Richmond, CA as a high school social studies teacher. Daniela is a UC Berkeley senior pursuing her B.A. in Legal Studies and Education along with her 4 year old daughter and husband. Daniela is a firm believer in that every single child is capable of meeting high expectations if given the correct support. Daniela hopes to be a provider of that support.

More Comments