School of Education News

Underwood presents census data at forum on potential Racine Unified School District breakup

September 14, 2017

UW-Madison's Julie Underwood recently presented statistics at a forum discussing new legislation aimed at a Racine Unified School District takeover and potential breakup.

Underwood is the Susan Engeleiter Professor of Education Law, Policy, and Practice at UW-Madison, and is the former dean of the School of Education.

Many at the forum were unhappy with the potential changes, and several declared the proposed policy racist and said it would enforce segregation. Underwood presented census data from Unified and surrounding villages.

While the Unified district is 60 percent students of color, 17.4 percent students with disabilities and 11.5 percent students with limited English proficiency, neighboring Caledonia is 15 percent minorities, 3 percent students with disabilities, and zero percent students with limited English proficiency, Underwood said. 

“You create these districts, you are going to create a majority-minority district and then a number of white districts. What effect does that have?” Underwood said in the Racine Journal Times. “What you would have is a district with low property wealth with higher needs and a district with higher wealth and lower needs."

Read the full Racine Journal Times article about the potential takeover or breakup of the Racine Unified School District: "Unified breakup forum held."

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