Black and Hispanic students find barriers to achieve in schools in Philly suburbs, report says

Making sure students get a good and equitable education. Ideally, that's the goal of any school but in reality, it’s not always the case.

A new report examined how Black and Hispanic students are fairing in collar county school districts.

Public schools in suburban communities are often better funded and provide more opportunities for students to learn.

However, a new report by a children’s advocacy group finds Black and Hispanic students find barriers to achieve even in the suburbs. 

"Across the counties the higher the concentration of Black and Hispanic students in any one school district the less funding they typically have in a classroom," author of the report Tomea Sippio-Smith said.

The report looked at 61 school districts in the Philadelphia collar counties of Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester where 23% percent of the students are Black and Hispanic. It found Black and Hispanic students are dealt with more "harshly" when disciplined and schools are quick to call the police.

"They’re rote reaction is if a kid of color gets in trouble they’re simply going to call the police more quickly than they would a White kid? Cole asked.

"There’s something else going on there. The numbers don’t say that but something is here that’s chronic and persistent across school districts, across the suburbs," Sippio-Smith said.

The inequity has led to what is called "devastating achievement gaps" between White students and those of color.

In reading, a gap of 22% between White and Black students and 16% between White and Hispanic kids.

Collin Woodland, a sophomore in the highly regarded Wallingford-Swarthmore School District in Delaware County, says he had to fight his way into advanced courses and argues students in nearby struggling Chester are being denied what even he has.

"For me, it’s hard just to run this race just five minutes away In Chester-Upland they’re just fighting to get in. The roots of racism they run so deep," he said



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