Chalkbeat Indiana, the Indianapolis Star and WFYI are teaming up for a joint project to examine why inequality and segregation continue in Indianapolis 60 years after the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education outlawed “separate but equal” schools — and solutions that could lead to change.
The Schools Divided Series
LaTonya Kirkland and her friends were trailblazers -- part of the first year of an experiment that saw thousands of kids bused from struggling Indianapolis neighborhoods to more affluent sections of Marion County for school. The buses -- paid for by the state and Indianapolis Public Schools -- rolled from 1981 until last month, when the court order mandating the busing expired. Now, 35 years later, it's not clear what the program achieved.
IPS officials defend Center for Inquiry School 84 as a critical piece of a plan to keep affluent whites from leaving IPS, a problem faced by urban districts across the United States. They blame society’s self-segregation for creating a school of 331 white students and 22 black students in a district that is 80 percent non-white.
Parents and students say that The Oaks Academy, a private, K-8 Christian school with three campuses in Indianapolis, has managed to achieve what few schools do.
Indianapolis Public School leaders respond to a series on school segregation, "Divided Schools," by Chalkbeat Indiana, The Indy Star and WFYI.