The Urban Land Conservancy penned the following memo in reflection on A+ Colorado’s February 2018 report, Learn Together, Live Together: A Call to Integrate Denver’s Schools.
The recent report released by A+ Colorado, Learn Together, Live Together: A Call to Integrate Denver’s Schools, brings to light the issues Denver Public Schools (DPS) are facing with the dramatic decline of integrated schools since the end of busing in 1995. We should however not be surprised by the growing segregation of our local schools since the end of busing, as many Denver neighborhoods, like many urban neighborhoods across the United State, are not racially integrated and never have been. Institutional racist redlining housing policies of the 1930s created and enforced by federal agencies the Home Owner’s Loan Corporation (HOLC) and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), in partnership with local banks, mortgage companies, and appraisers defined homes located in or near neighborhoods of color as high risk investments (redlined), eliminating the availability of standard home loans and mortgages for those areas. Eighty years later we see the direct damage of these federal policies, with some of the most segregated schools in Denver today located in many of those same neighborhoods that were redlined in 1938.