School Choice May Work for Some, But Can Lead to Underfunded and Segregated Schools

Jan 26, 2021


The exterior of Kelly Middle School in the Eugene 4J School District.
Credit Denise Silfee

Applications to transfer schools in the Eugene 4J and Springfield School Districts are open. But the process of school choice can lead to segregated and underfunded schools.


Not all schools have the same resources. So if your child has a disability and you don’t think they’re receiving enough assistance, you might consider using the school choice system. But problems can occur when students leave a school because it’s quote, ‘bad’ or ‘low performing.’

Jerry Rosiek is a professor at the University of Oregon who studies school segregation and institutional racism in schools. Since school funding is partially based on the number of students, he said resources typically end up following kids who come from more privileged households.

"The reason you need to have mixed population schools is so that you don't effectively end up with a maldistribution of the material and curricular resources necessary for high levels of achievement,” said Rosiek.

Rosiek said parents should invest their time or political lobbying into their children’s current schools to get additional resources.